Learning to ride a bike comes with the expectation of a fall or two.
Consider that an analogy for playing cornerback in the NFL as a rookie, like the Giants’ Cor’Dale Flott, who held his own for a half last week against a three-time 1,000-yard receiver. The Giants stuck top cornerback Adoree’ Jackson on Panthers deep threat Robbie Anderson and left Flott in his first career start against D.J. Moore, who ultimately broke free for a 16-yard touchdown when Flott got twisted and slipped to the ground.
“I learned a lot of lessons just from being out there,” said Flott, who allowed just that catch on three targets. “It shows the trust the coaches have in me, which I respect a lot.”
With starting cornerback Aaron Robinson (appendix) again sidelined, the Giants’ plan for covering the Cowboys’ trio of CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup (in his season debut) and Noah Brown is unknown, but Flott figures to have a prominent role. He had his “best week of practice” after finding out he was going to be a starter, coordinator Wink Martindale said.
Veteran Fabian Moreau finished the game last week in place of Flott (who had cramps, according to Martindale), and is expected to be elevated from the practice squad for the third straight week.Giants cornerback Cor’Dale FlottNoah K. Murra
“The Cowboys have elite receivers, so I’m preparing to execute,” Flott said. “At LSU, there are no training wheels at all. I’m used to it.”
Flott was drafted out of LSU to play in the slot, but Darnay Holmes won that job early in training camp.
“I’m comfortable on the outside, too, so whichever is available and wherever I’m needed, I’ll be there to play,” Flott said. “Fabian knows the game as much as anybody in our room. If he’s out there, I’ll be a good teammate and support him.”
WR Kadarius Toney (hamstring) and DL Leonard Williams (knee) did not practice Saturday and are listed as doubtful on the final injury report. OLBs Azeez Ojulari (calf) and Kayvon Thibodeaux (sprained MCL) both are officially considered questionable, but appear to have a green light to play barring a setback. Neither played in the first two games after being listed as doubtful.
“I think they are much better than they were the week before,” Daboll said. “We’re moving in the right direction with those guys.”
OL Jon Feliciano (shin) and DBs Dane Belton (clavicle) and Jason Pinnock (shoulder) were upgraded to full participants and cleared to play.
WR Wan’Dale Robinson (knee) and CBs Justin Layne (concussion), Nick McCloud (hamstring) and Aaron Robinson are out.
QB Tyrod Taylor was not at practice Saturday for personal reasons, but is expected to rejoin the team in time to be available for the game.
During a film breakdown on “NFL Live,” ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky said the Panthers were tipping run/pass against the Giants, based on whether Christian McCaffrey lined up next to Baker Mayfield in the shotgun or one yard behind him. Panthers head coach Matt Rhule disagreed with the assessment, but were the Giants clued in?
Daboll didn’t definitively say, but, as a former offensive coordinator, he is aware of tipping plays.
“You’re always trying to gain a competitive advantage,” Daboll said. “You can go through a scouting report and talk about tendencies. In the heat of the battle, do I think it’s important? Yeah. But unless something is 100 percent or in the high, high, high 90s, 80s [percent-wise], you can tell a player too much, where they’re thinking, ‘Look for this. And remember this. Do this.’ You want to let them go use their skill-set and play fast.”