Mykkele Thompson injured his knee early in the season and was placed on injured reserve for the second consecutive season. Darian Thompson suffered a foot injury early on and joined him on IR. Nat Berhe has missed time due to a concussion.
Despite entering the season with a restocked secondary, the New York Giants needed another safety to pair with Landon Collins, a second-year player out of Alabama who was hoping to restore his confidence after a rocky rookie season. Scrambling for a healthy option, enter Andrew Adams, an undrafted free agent from UConn who did not make the team out of training camp.
Adams made the jump from practice squad to the active roster on Sept. 24 and has started at free safety the past five games, settling in and making the plays the Giants need in the secondary after a slow start.
Against the Eagles, Adams played 73 of the Giants' 75 defensive snaps, racking up nine solo tackles with an interception and two passes defensed. Pro Football Focus gave Adams' performance againt Philadelphia a 91.8 grade, the highest of any Giant player on the day:
"I just do what I'm asked to do, really," Adams told reporters Wednesday. "Obviously I want to play, that's what every player wants to do. That's what I came here for. First round, undrafted, it doesn't matter. I came here to play. That's what I'm doing. Week in and week out, I'm just trying to put my best foot forward and help my team win."
PFF complimented New York's secondary as a whole -- outside of surrendering five passes of 25 yards or more -- by noting that Adams, Collins and cornerbacks Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Janoris Jenkins were targeted 21 times and allowed 10 catches for 155 yards and no touchdowns while recording two interceptions, which would amount to a passer rating of 32.9.
Adams said that playing next to Collins has been positive to his growth as a professional.
"It's very helpful. He has a lot of plays under his belt," Adams said of Collins. "He's only a second-year player and has a lot of starts already. Just being able to study together and be on the same page helps a lot."
As each week passes, Adams has progressed, which is not only a good thing for him but the Giants as well. They found themselves shorthanded again this fall and his ability to grasp the concepts and play well has gone a long way to helping this Giants' defense succeed. Asked how he's changed over the past six weeks, Adams said his confidence has grown.
"Your first game, it's different than preseason and what not. You've kind of seen how the real game works. A lot of bullets flying," Adams said. "Now, it's just being able to see and react rather than think about should I do this or that. You just play faster."
Asked to assess his performance and progress, Adams was honest. He knows he still has a ways to go.
"I think I've been playing well," he said. "There's obviously room for improvement. No one is perfect. I just want to keep improving on the little things that guys might not see because they're not detailing the film. Just little things I want to improve on."