In the days following his collision with a camera in the fourth quarter of the Giants' win over the Panthers, Antrel Rolle maintained the left knee injury he suffered was minor.
Nearly three weeks later, to his surprise, it remains an issue.
"It's a battle, it's a constant battle each and everyday. But I just try to do whatever I can to go out there and perform on Sunday," Rolle said in his weekly interview on WFAN this afternoon. "As long as I'm out there with my guys, man, that's what's good enough for me. With this knee injury, it's going to take some time. It's going to take some time.
"I never thought it would be this crucial. It's just a lingering process, not anything too serious, but it's something that just lingers around and it kind of sticks with you a little bit, but I'll be fine. And I will be out there again come Sunday."
Rolle has played through the knee trouble the last two weeks and will be needed again this Sunday against the 49ers. The Giants, already without Kenny Phillips due to a sprained MCL, are now down two safeties after Will Hill was suspended for four games for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drugs policy.
In his place, the Giants activated safety Tyler Sash, who is coming off the same suspension, and needed to be activated by Monday at 4 p.m. or the Giants would've had to waive him. Both Sash and Hill tested positive for Adderall.
"It is difficult -- especially when Will Hill has been playing good football for us," Rolle said. "Unfortunately, we had Kenny go down and myself, I'm still dealing with this knee injury. It just seems like if it's not one thing, it's another. I will be honest about that. But we're a tough unit. We're a tough unit and we're a close unit.
"And we're going to make sure with Will and his suspension, make sure that he's staying level-headed and make sure he keeps himself in the game and at the same time move Sash along and get Sash caught up to speed. We're going to look to Sash to be a playmaker come Sunday."
With Phillips out Sunday against the Browns, Stevie Brown got the start in his place and after a costly mistake in coverage that allowed Josh Gordon to score a 62-yard touchdown, he came through with two key turnovers.
"Very, very crucial turning point in the game," Rolle said of Brown's first turnover, an interception of Brandon Weeden at the end of the first half. "I think it couldn't have been a better moment in the game. Stevie Brown, he's a guy for us, like you said, he's making plays for us and he's been coming up huge for us with Kenny being out."
Rolle became close friends with former Giants and current 49ers running back Brandon Jacobs in their two seasons as teammates and the two have maintained contact since Jacobs' departure.
"I definitely kept in contact with Jacobs. [I] checked up on his knee and when I had my knee injury, he called to check up on my knee," Rolle said. "Jacobs is a good guy, man. A very passionate guy and I miss having him as a teammate."
But Rolle said the friendships – the Giants will also go up against former teammate Mario Manningham – are forgotten until the final whistle blows Sunday.
"It's going to be good to see those guys and to actually play against them," Rolle said. "We're all friends, we're all great friends off the field, but on the field we have to go out there and execute. So if that means to bring the noise then so be it. We're definitely going to bring the noise and we'll hug and shake hands after the game, but during that game time, there won't be any pats on the butt. It's going to be straight hard-nosed football."