“First and foremost my prayers go out to him [McCourty] that he has a speedy recovery, “ Verner said afterwards. “He was playing his butt off up until that happened. “
When the coaches told Verner that he was going in for the injured McCourty, the fourth-round pick from UCLA jumped at the chance.
“I took advantage of the opportunity and tried to help the team,” Verner said.
With the Giants trailing 19-10 midway through the third quarter, they mounted a charge to try to get back within one score. Eli Manning and Ahmad Bradshaw led the drive, and were deep in Titans territory with 3:30, when Bradshaw was hit at the Titans 5-yard line by Michael Griffin.
The ball came loose and Verner was the recipient of another Giants turnover.
“We’re taught to run to the ball till it becomes second nature to us,” said Verner. “I saw the ball on the ground, and I tried to jump on it as fast as I can and shield it. I was trying to make sure nobody got close to it, so I rolled over and held on for dear life.”
One could argue that that play was as close as it gets to a back breaker for the Giants, as it was New York's last meaningful trip to the red zone until the final garbage time drive of the game.
Verner would finish up with four tackles on the day, a pass defended, and a fumble recovery.
And a Titans victory, 29-10.