EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Coordinator Perry Fewell has added a new wrinkle to the New York Giants' defense with veteran safety Kenny Phillips back in the lineup.
Instead of using schemes with three safeties instead of two, Fewell upped the count to four at times in a 38-10 win over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night.
Phillips, Antrel Rolle and Stevie Brown formed the main trio. They were joined by Will Hill, and later Tyler Sash after Phillips aggravated an injury to his right knee.
Phillips practiced on a limited basis Friday for the Monday night game against Washington (5-6). He expects to play, which means the Giants (7-4) probably will load the field with safeties to give Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III a little more to think about.
Fewell said the safety-heavy formations can not only confuse a quarterback, they allow him to use all his talent.
I think when you use that package it gives you a lot of flexibility, Fewell said. It does cause some confusion for the offense. Who is the safety? Who is the guy who is dropping down? Some people don't know. Some people think they know. Those guys, the way they move around and the way they allow us to change them, it can make things difficult for a quarterback.
Getting Phillips back in the lineup last week was key to the formations. He sprained his medial collateral ligament against Philadelphia at the end of September and missed six games in what was a slower-than-expected recovery.
It's real frustrating. It seems like it's always something, Phillips said after practice Friday. But I've been able to play through it. This is probably the most I've been able to play. I'm trying to bounce back from it. It felt OK. I'm getting better each day.
However, Phillips believes his knee will not be 100 percent until the offseason. For now, he's going to play through it. Doing that allows Fewell a ton of options, the biggest being that he can go with his three-safety formation whenever he wants, knowing he's not trying to force it.
at Washington Redskins