It came as a bit of a surprise when Webster sat out of Thursday’s practice after he made it through practice the day before. He missed Friday’s practice as well with what the Giants are calling a hip injury. Webster’s absence will force the Giants into some adjustments if he is in fact inactive on Sunday.
Prince Amukamara would most likely shift up one spot and end up with the assignment of covering Carolina’s Steve Smith, who is the Panthers’ best wide receiver. For the season, he has caught 11 passes for 103 yards and one touchdown.
As a team, the Panthers generally run the ball much more effectively than they pass the ball. Carolina ranks sixth in the NFL in rushing, gaining 129.5 yards per game. DeAngelo Williams is the team’s premier back and Mike Tolbert gets some carries in a limited role. However, it’s quarterback Cam Newton‘s ability to run that makes their rushing attack all the more lethal.
Through the air, the Panthers are nothing to write home about. Through two weeks, the team is ranked 30th in passing yards, which, in a passing league, means your offense is going to struggle.
With Webster out, cornerback Aaron Ross will likely see increased playing time. He did not play a single defensive snap last week after taking over for an injured Amukamara in week one.
Ross is a solid corner, but Newton will try to exploit his presence. Ross must step up and play tough, physical defense for the Giants to have a chance. New York is going to be stacking the box against the run, so corners may not have much help over the top.
Overall, New York’s secondary has been solid this season. Safety Ryan Mundy has stepped in nicely for Stevie Brown, and Terrell Thomas has been impressive coming off back-to-back ACL tears. We’ll likely see if the defense can survive on Sunday without Webster.