Giants rookie safety Darian Thompson 'week-to-week' with shoulder injury

Rookie Darian Thompson has been on pace to start at free safety, but this setback puts his availability in doubt. Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants rookie safety Darian Thompson suffered a shoulder injury in Saturday's 21-0 loss in Buffalo and will be assessed on a “week-to-week” basis, according to the team.

Thompson has worked with the first-team defense throughout the summer. He was on pace to start at free safety opposite Landon Collins.

The injury isn’t believed to be serious. Thompson is expected to be ready for the Sept. 11 season opener against the Dallas Cowboys, according to a source.

The Giants are counting heavily on the third-round pick out of Boise State. They struggled badly at safety last year, signing veteran Brandon Meriweather off the street in mid-August because of a slew of injuries, and started him in 12 games. Meriweather's contract expired this offseason and he remains unsigned.

Thompson was supposed to be the answer to the Giants' safety problems. If he’s not ready for the opener, Nat Berhe appears to be next in line.

Berhe missed all of last season with a calf injury and has flashed this summer.

But Berhe is not the natural centerfielder the Giants were hoping to start opposite Collins. They wanted a deep safety playing next to Collins for the reasons that were evident on Saturday in Buffalo.

Collins was allowed to play close to the line of scrimmage and finished with a team-best seven tackles in less than a half of action against the Bills. Thompson patrolled the middle of the field and also added a tackle for a loss on a run blitz.

The Giants have raved about Thompson ever since he stepped foot in their building this spring.

“He knows football, he gets football. He can communicate the game, and it doesn't seem too big for him,” coach Ben McAdoo said earlier this summer. “He allows those around him to play fast.”

Without him, the Giants’ depth at safety will be tested in the coming weeks. Mykkele Thompson also suffered a concussion in Buffalo.

Their absences will provide increased opportunities for Berhe, Cooper Taylor, Bennett Jackson, Justin Currie and Andrew Adams.