The New York Giants will be without their typical play-caller, and potentially also without their starting quarterback, when they host the Cleveland Browns on "Sunday Night Football" this week. It turns out they'll also be missing arguably their top defender. Three days before kicking off their all-important, potentially playoff-deciding matchup, the Giants have reportedly placed star cornerback James Bradberry on the COVID-19 reserve list, making him ineligible to play against the Browns.
Bradberry was recently deemed a high-risk close contact to COVID-19, according to NFL Network, after he was exposed to an infection away from the Giants' facility. While his move to COVID reserve is unrelated to Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett testing positive for the virus, it still guarantees New York will be without its top cover man for a game that may well decide their fate in the NFC East, where the Giants stand just one game back of the division-leading Washington Football Team.
One of the Giants' most lucrative additions of the offseason, Bradberry has been a steady presence in a defense that's exceeded expectations under coordinator Patrick Graham -- a unit that ranks 11th in the NFL entering Week 15. The former Carolina Panthers standout, who inked a three-year, $45 million contract in March, is tied for the league lead with 17 pass breakups and has forced five turnovers -- three interceptions and two fumbles -- in 13 starts. A case can be made that he's been one of the NFL's best cornerbacks and arguably the team's most important player.
Isaac Yiadom and Darnay Holmes figure to start at corner for New York against the Browns, though Holmes has yet to practice this week because of a knee injury. The Giants could be forced to get creative with safeties Logan Ryan, Xavier McKinney and Julian Love to make up for a shorthanded cornerback depth chart.