Exactly two weeks after suffering an ankle sprain during team drills, New York Giants safety Antrel Rolle is expected back on the practice field quarterbacking Big Blue's secondary this week. On Monday Rolle spoke to reporters about his speedy recovery and return to the gridiron.
"I told them today I want to go there and test it to see what I can do," said Rolle on getting back on the field with his teammates. "I'll be smart about it. I'll make sure I relay back to them how I'm feeling and if it's so-so if it's good if I can keep going if I need to shut it down. We're all on the same page with the training staff the coaching staff and so on."
Rolle joins Jason-Pierre Paul as the second star ' player back from injury this week. The Giants' safety has always been one of the team's top playmakers, but according to Rolle, Pierre-Paul is in a class of his own.
"He's our best defensive playmaker hands down," said Rolle. "I think he's shows that week-in and week-out. With him having the surgery and trying to get him back to top shape and tip top form hopefully we're going to see a performance that we've never ever seen. So we're looking for miraculous things out of JPP and he's a guy that can definitely give it to us."
Both Rolle and Pierre-Paul are major cogs in a Giants' defensive attack that has been solid, but nowhere near the championship caliber unit the coaching staff and front office are hoping for. In Rolle's mind, Pierre-Paul is the driving force behind Big Blue's once-vaunted defense.
"We all know what he means to this defense and what he means to this team," admitted Rolle of Pierre-Paul. "Just having him out there with the guys it's just going to make us fight that much harder to get ourselves ready and to make sure we're on the same page with him and to get him ready come week 1 or whenever he's going to come back and return to our defense in full form."
Rolle missed the past two preseason games with an ankle sprain and backup Ryan Mundy stepped up in his absence to play reasonably well. Mundy joined the Giants this offseason after spending the first four years on his NFL career with the Pittsburgh Steelers behind standout safeties Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark. With dynamic safety Stevie Brown placed on season-ending injured reserve due to the torn ACL he suffered during Saturday's 24-21 overtime loss to the New York Jets, Rolle is looking for more of the same from the Giants' backup defensive back.
"I think Ryan did a great job," said Rolle of Mundy. "He's a physical presence. He's a smart guy and he understands the game. We're looking for Ryan to come in and do big things in this defense. We said that before Stevie got hurt and we're going to need him even more now that Stevie is not with us."
Rolle's playing status for the preseason finale against the New England Patriots on Thursday night in Foxborough is still up in the air.