Rivera said losing the 5-foot-11, 210-pound Godfrey is difficult because he's made tremendous strides since being moved from strong safety to free safety last season and had become the leader in the secondary.
"Since then he's played about as well as you would like to have a free safety play," Rivera said. "He's put himself in position to make plays and he's done the type of things you need to do to have success.
"The thing you've seen is his growth. You see him doing things that a veteran defensive player is supposed to do — giving false reads, giving bad reads to an opponent and disguising his coverages by moving in and out of coverages. You hate to see it happen because he's a guy who has really found his niche at free safety for us. You would love to have him, but we don't."
Last year Eli Manning threw for 288 yards and a touchdown as the Giants defeated the Panthers 36-7 in Charlotte.
Online: AP NFL website www.pro32.ap.org
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