NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Sunday, November 8, 2015, 10:01 PM
TAMPA – One defensive lineman came back for the Giants. And another may have gone down.
On Sunday afternoon, the Giants got explosive defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul back in a 32-18 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. But they may have lost defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, who suffered a left pectoral injury at the start of the second quarter.
And he may be gone for awhile.
“I don’t know the extent of it,” said coach Tom Coughlin. “It’s a pectoral injury, but where it is, they are usually not very good. But I don’t have anything else other than that.”
Hankins suffered the injury on the period’s opening play, when he caused a Doug Martin fumble that was eventually recovered by linebacker Jasper Brinkley. He said he expects to get an MRI Monday but isn’t sure of the severity of the injury.
Hankins is the third Giant to suffer a pectoral injury in 2015, joining left tackle Will Beatty, who injured himself in the weight room in the spring, and corner Prince Amukamara, who has missed four straight games with the injury.
BEASON HELPS OUT
The Giants’ new middle linebacker, Jasper Brinkley, got some advice from the team’s old middle linebacker, Jon Beason, on Saturday.
“Just go out and have fun, man. That’s what he said,” Brinkley said.
Brinkley did exactly that on Sunday, and he made his second start at the position much better than his first. He’d started a week ago in the debacle in New Orleans, but said he felt more “comfortable” this week, as he made seven tackles, recovered the fumble Hankins caused, and caused another fumble later in the game.
“Last week was my first game for me,” he said. “I had a chance to knock the rust off last week. (I wanted) to be able to take it a step further this week. I felt more like myself. I want to continue to build off that.”
EVANS GOES WILD
The Giants did everything they could to slow Bucs receiver Mike Evans, who had eight catches for 152 receiving yards. But they had limited success.
They started out leaving cornerbacks Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Jayron Hosley to play sides (instead of having Rodgers-Cromartie follow the Bucs’ top receiver around the field), but changed tactics after Evans made a 68-yard catch early on.
“Just to try to match up with him. He’s a bigger body,” DRC said.
But as Evans continued to dominate the game, the Giants ditched that strategy in the fourth quarter.
“Jayron said, ‘hey, if he come over here I got him,’” Rodgers-Cromartie said. “So we played the switch on and off and gave him a different look.”
Regular starting tight end Larry Donnell missed his first game of the season due to a neck injury and was replaced by rookie Will Tye as a starter… LB J.T. Thomas (ankle), CB Prince Amukamara (pectoral), WR Victor Cruz (knee/calf), CB Leon McFadden (groin) and OL Bobby Hart were also inactive… DE Robert Ayers left the game briefly although he later returned.