Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 8/29/12

While the Giants are coming in as the defending champions there are questions about their roster due to of the amount of players that they lost in the offseason.

Including running back Brandon Jacobs, wide receiver Mario Manningham, tight end Jake Ballard, and defensive tackle Chris Canty who was put on the physically unable to perform list.

However, the Giants are also getting some players back that were out a part of or most of last year due to injury.

These players include running back Ahmad Bradshaw, cornerback Terrell Thomas, Prince Amukamara, and offensive tackle Will Beatty.

The key for the Giants will be to stay healthy and not to take unnecessary risks in the preseason Remember Eli Manning's bloody episode a couple preseasons ago? 

Running Back: With Brandon Jacobs out of the picture, Ahmad Bradshaw is now in sole control of the starting spot at running back.

Bradshaw went down with a foot injury during mid-season last year but later returned to help the Giants win their fourth Super Bowl. Behind Bradshaw, veteran D.J. Ware and 1st round draft pick, David Wilson, are duking it out for the backup spot. Ware right now comes in as the front runner being more familiar with the Giants' offensive schemes, but Wilson has outperformed him in all three preseason games thus far.

If Wilson has another impressive outing in the preseason finale look for him to get the job as Bradshaw's backup.

Tight End: The tight end position holds some new faces with the departure of last year's starter, Jake Ballard. Last year's backup ,Bear Pascoe, has the starting nod going into the regular season but first-year Giant Martellus Bennett has other plans.

While Bennett saw a dip in production last year with the Cowboys with only 144 yards receiving in 14 games, it still topped Pascoe's 136 yards in 16 games last year. Bennett has proven to be the more athletic and promising tight end, as he shown potential to be the starter during training camp and the preseason.

Wide Receiver: As Hakeem Nicks battles back from a broken bone in his foot from spring minicamp, Victor Cruz will be getting the predominant amount of targets in the passing game. Domenik Hixon, who is coming back from a torn ACL, is his replacement for the time being. Second round draft pick Rueben Randle is also starting to creep up as well in the wide receiver mix.

With Hixon battling a hamstring injury now during the preseason, Randle has an opportunity to nab at least the 3rd wide receiver spot assuming Nicks will be ready by the season opener.

Defensive Line: The Giants plan to have a three-man rotation at the defensive end position with their talented trio of Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, and Jason Pierre-Paul. Pierre-Paul and Tuck will most likely be the ones starting the game as the team had great success with the two during Umenyiora's absence at the beginning of last season. Defensive tackle Linval Joesph will get the call at the starting spot next to Rocky Bernard during Chris Canty's absence with veteran Shaun Rogers also in the mix.

Canty will not be able to return until after Week 6 of the regular season, which will allow Joseph and Rogers to make their case for extended playing time after Canty's return.

Linebacker: With Jonathan Goff officially out of the mix this year after being released during his comeback from ACL surgery, Chase Blackburn will resume the role as the starting middle linebacker. His backup, Mark Herzlich, will also see some playing time while defensive coordinator Perry Fewell shuffles between linebackers.

At the outside positions, the starters will also remain the same as last year with third-year Giant Michael Boley and officially converted linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka. Boley though is ailing now with a hamstring injury, which is giving former Bengal Keith Rivers more reps in practice in the event Boley isn't ready for Week 1.

Cornerback: This year seems to be another one that the Giants will have to insert cornerbacks by committee. The injury-prone secondary continues to suffer setbacks with Terrell Thomas still unable to get healthy enough to get back to practice after tearing his ACL last year and re-aggravating in training camp.

Last year first round draft pick, Prince Amukamara, also is unable to stay healthy after being carted off with a high-ankle sprain in last friday's preseason game against the Chicago Bears. Amukamara is out indefinitely and is expected to miss a couple weeks.

The Giants are already thin at corner with 3rd round draft pick Jayron Hosley battling turf toe and losing last year's starter Aaron Ross in free agency. The team will once again have to rely on veteran Corey Webster to carry the load and will have to find production out of backup Michael Coe and newly added Justin Tryon.



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