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Things were going well for Cooper Taylor.
The New York Giants second-year safety, and fifth-round selection in last year’s draft, had added muscle in the offseason, was seeing looks with the second-team defense and making plays all across the field. Taylor earned praise for his physicality, awareness and improvement. He looked ready to make an impact on the defense.
The came a foot injury against the Indianapolis Colts, the tests that confirmed a sesamoid fracture in his left foot and the news he’d need surgery. Giants coach Tom Coughlin confirmed Wednesday after practice Taylor would have surgery and that season-ending injured reserve is now a ‘possibility.’
“Yeah, he’s going to need surgery,” Coughlin said.
According to Jordan Raanan of NJ.com, surgery for Taylor would require a near full season of recovery. This would make a trip to injured reserve a logical choice. By the time the safety would be healthy enough to take the field, let alone be able to get himself into football shape, it would be far too late to make an impact this season.
So where now do the Giants now stand? Rookie Nat Berhe has earned praise from the coaching staff and has been nicknamed ‘The Missile’ while veteran Quintin Demps has the ability to play either safety position.
Theoretically, placing Taylor on injured reserve may make the most logical choice for the Giants. While the team is littered with question marks across the roster, the secondary is not one of them. The Giants coaching staff was going to be put in a tough situation with a difficult ‘numbers’ game come cut-down day. The Giants had five safeties (Antrel Rolle, Stevie Brown, Berhe, Demps, Taylor) that all deserved spots on the roster and just as many cornerbacks. If Taylor is placed on injured reserve, a roster spot instantly opens up.
The extra spot may allow the Giants to keep both rookie Bennett Jackson and second-year pro Charles James II.
There has been no official decision yet from the team yet on what to do with Taylor. A placement on injured reserve, or IR with designation to return, may not be made for a few days. The Giants do have their first cut-down day (from 90 players to 75) on Tuesday.