Gilbride, Fewell on the replacements

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Giants could be without several starters on Sunday, when they play the Browns.

Which raises the question, who will replace these guys?

Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride and defensive coordinator Perry Fewell were peppered with questions about this during their weekly session with reporters on Thursday.

On offense, it's clear that Domenik Hixon will start at wide receiver in place of Hakeem Nicks -- especially now that Ramses Barden is also hurt, suffering from a concussion.

But the Giants could also be without right guard Chris Snee, who missed practice for the second day in a row on Thursday with a hip injury.

Being without Snee is rare for the Giants. He started every game for six straight seasons, from 2005 through 2010, before missing one game last year.

Gilbride said that if Snee can't go, his spot will "probably" go to third-year vet Mitch Petrus, who appeared in 17 games (three starts) in his first two seasons with the Giants, and has seen action in two games so far this year.

As for the defense, Fewell confirmed that Stevie Brown would start at safety in place of Kenny Phillips -- Phillips is almost certainly not going to play, because of the MCL injury to his knee.

Brown, who spent his first two NFL seasons with the Raiders and Colts, was picked up by the Giants this spring.

"I thought Stevie Brown came in and did a nice job," Fewell said of Brown's performance last Sunday against the Eagles, after Phillips got hurt. "To be put in that position and that type of situation, he really didn’t have any major errors. He came in and he tackled well."

Also, defensive tackle Rocky Bernard has missed the past two days of practice with a quadriceps injury. Fewell said that if Bernard can't go, his snaps will likely be split between the very inexperienced duo of second-year man Marvin Austin and rookie Markus Kuhn, who have played in six NFL games combined.