The Carolina Panthers will go into Sunday’s game against the Giants with two starting safeties and just one backup.

With Quintin Mikell and D.J. Moore out for the game Colin Jones is the lone backup for the Panthers a week after he was considered their “emergency safety.” Undrafted rookie Robert Lester will start at strong safety and Mike Mitchell will start at free safety.

“We’ve worked a couple guys at the safety position trying to get a few extra reps in and stuff like that” Ron Rivera said Friday. “If we got into a situation we’d have to find one.”

Rivera has said the team will try to use Lester in ways that don’t expose the rookie who was brought up from the practice squad Tuesday and will start his first NFL game this week.

“We wanted to keep him around just in case and lo and behold Week 3 just in case” Rivera said. “He’s a smart kid he really is. He understands concepts. He comes from a very good program. A lot of people want to say there’s a position as far as defense is concerned you really consider coming from Alabama it’s the defensive backs because they’re very well-coached and that’s what Coach (Nick) Saban is he’s a defensive backs coach.”

Cornerback Josh Thomas (concussion) tweeted Friday afternoon that he will not play Sunday after failing to be cleared by an independent doctor. The Panthers will likely start Josh Norman who is listed on the injury report as probable with a knee injury or veteran Drayton Florence who signed this week at cornerback opposite Captain Munnerlyn.

Cornerback James Dockery (thumb/shoulder) is questionable and Rivera said he will be a game-time decision.