Giants notebook: Kiwanuka and Tuck say they will be fine

The Giants got a couple of scares on Monday night as Mathias Kiwanuka left with a groin injury and Justin Tuck departed with a “burner.”

Kiwanuka said he expects to be ready for the season opener against the Redskins and was just being cautious.

“This is not serious at all," Kiwanuka told the NBC game telecast. "It is one of those things that in the preseason you want to make sure you are healthy. Confident I will be back when the season starts if not sooner than that."

Tuck underwent X-rays and was diagnosed with a burner. The defensive end will be just fine.

“[Athletic trainer] Ronnie Barnes didn’t want me to break another fingernail so he pulled me out,” Tuck joked. “No, I got a little burner and I’m fine.”

Cornerback Michael Coe also got hit in the ribs but said he’s fine.

SLOT MAN: In their first game without Terrell Thomas, safety Antrel Rolle played some cornerback against the slot on passing downs.

He defended Santonio Holmes a few times in the slot and is getting used to playing some corner again.

“It’s my first week at it [this preseason],” Rolle said. “It’s going to take a little while to get comfortable at it. Nickel is nothing new to my game. I’ve been playing it pretty much my entire career. Just to get back in the groove and the feel of things and understand my assignments and adjustments. I’ll be good.”

When Rolle moved to cover the slot receiver, the Giants had Deon Grant and Kenny Phillips at safety. Surely Perry Fewell will have something up his sleeve when the season starts but it’s a good bet that the three-safety look will be used again this season.

JERNIGAN JOURNEY: Tom Coughlin admitted it may be time to use Domenik Hixon on punt returns. The head coach had been trying to keep Hixon out of harm’s way but Jerrel Jernigan muffed three punts and had a fumble as well.

“Well, we try to do the best we can during the preseason to stay away from that, because of the obvious,” Coughlin said. “I don’t want to jeopardize. I want his confidence to be there when he goes back. I’m sure he’d tell you he’s ready to do it, but obviously we’re going to have to re-think that a little bit.”

FIGHT CLUB: Brandon Jacobs was ejected for fighting with rookie DT Muhammad Wilkerson and Grant also got an unnecessary roughness penalty against the Jets as well.

Needless to say, Coughlin wasn’t pleased.

“Yeah, it’s not good football,” the head coach said. “I didn’t really see either one. You don’t want it. One of their players is out, one of our players is out. You can’t lose your cool, which is the message, really. When you do, you’re going to pay the consequences. We got a penalty. We didn’t have to have a penalty, and we get two players ejected from the game -- one of theirs, one of ours.”

PATRIOT GAME: Coughlin didn’t reveal much about what his plan is for Thursday night’s game against the Patriots. The Giants will hold two walk-throughs on Tuesday and Wednesday. It’s likely the starters will rest.

“We’ll see about all of that stuff,” Coughlin said when asked if Eli Manning will play against New England. “That’s all after I look at the tape. We’ll see.”