Saquon Barkley isn’t the only rookie out of Penn State making an impact for the Giants.
Undrafted cornerback Grant Haley has taken over as the team’s primary slot corner in recent games and has impressed the coaching staff with his progress.
“I think he’s a little bit beyond his years,” secondary coach Lou Anarumo said before practice Friday. “All the guys work hard and study film, but he just logs a little bit of extra time knowing that he has a bigger role now.”
Haley also has displayed “a good nose for the ball,” Anarumo added, totaling 23 tackles with two passes defensed in seven games (six starts).
“In college he showed that, he was a guy that’d be around the ball, Big Ten guy who faced some downhill running teams in that league,” Anarumpo said. “He definitely displayed that in college, so we kind of knew that had it in him.”
The 5-foot-9 Haley mostly has been used in nickel packages since B.J. Webb became a starter after Eli Apple was traded in October, but could the rookie eventually transition to an outside cover position?
“He’s still young and I think he’s learning,” Anarumo said. “There’s a lot going on inside, with the different calls and different things that he has to do. He’s done a good job taking control. There are some things where he’s been outside already, so yeah, we’ll see. He’s still young.”
Pat Shurmur left open the possibility Alex Tanney — and not rookie Kyle Lauletta — will be the backup quarterback Sunday against Tennessee.
Lauletta was 0-for-5 with an interception in his NFL debut in the fourth quarter of last week’s win over Washington.
“We still have a couple of days, so we’ll see,” Shurmur said.
Aside from Odell Beckham Jr., who will miss his second straight game with a bruised quad, the Giants listed no player as doubtful or questionable on their injury report. Starting left tackle Nate Solder was limited in practice Friday, however, with an abdomen issue. Tight end Rhett Ellison (ankle) practiced and is “ready to go,” Shurmur said.
Titans leading receiver Corey Davis believes Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins will remember him after Sunday’s game.
Asked on Thursday about their pending matchup, Jackrabbit had said, “Corey Davis? What number is he?”
Davis, who has 54 catches for 765 yards and four TDs this season, responded Friday by telling reporters: “I actually thought it was funny. No hard feelings. He probably really doesn’t know who I am. At the end of the day, he’s going to find out.”
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