Giants’ Practice Squad Filled With Familiar Faces

New York Giants, Joe Judge
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The New York Giants filled 13 of their available 16 spots on their practice squad with players on Sunday with players that they had released the day before: quarterback Cooper Rush; wide receivers Johnny Holton, Alex Bachman, Derrick Dillon, Austin Mack, and Binjimen Victor; offensive linemen Tyler Haycraft and Kyle Murphy; defensive lineman Niko Lalos; defensive backs Chris Williamson and Jarren Williams; and long snapper Carson Tinker.

They also added a 14th player, kicker Ryan Santoso, as a backup option to Graham Gano. Running Back Sandro Platzgummer is also on the practice squad, but he is ineligible to join the active roster this season. The Giants receive and exemption for him as part of the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program.

They still have two open spots and they can fill them with veteran players if needed since most of the players on the practice squad are either rookies or have less than two years of accrued service. Only Tinker and Holton have more than two years of accrued service. NFL teams are permitted to carry up to six veteran players on their practice squads.

The Giants offered one of those spots to former starting center Jon Halapio, who was re-signed to the roster for final week of training camp was a roster cut on Saturday. Halapio declined, deciding to hold out for a better offer.

The team surprisingly waived second-year linebacker Ryan Connelly on Saturday. The hope was that he would clear waivers. That did not happen as the Minnesota Vikings adroitly claimed him. Head coach Joe Judge spoke about Connelly inches remarks to the media on Sunday.

“We have a lot of respect for Ryan. He’s a good football player,” said Judge. “We had to make the decision ultimately that was best for us. We wish him good luck. If things worked out perfectly for us, we would have loved to have him back on the practice squad. We didn’t expect that to happen to be honest with you because he’s a good, accomplished player and there are a lot of teams in the league that were going to be looking to claim him. We wish him good luck in Minnesota and look forward to seeing him play.”

The truth is Connelly did not fully participate in camp until the final week, coming back from knee surgery. The Giants liked what they saw from second-year linebacker Devante Dawns and rookies T.J. Brunson and Tae Crowder. Let’s not forget David Mayo, who was placed on IR but is expected back by October.

Veteran wideout Corey Coleman was waived as well. The Giants decided to go with C.J. Board and recently claimed Damion Ratley as their no. 4 and 5 receivers.

“We’re pleased with the wide receiver depth we have. I think we’re going into it right now with some speed at the position,” said Judge. “That’s something we’re definitely looking to add right there. I think we have good position flexibility with all of our skill players on offense. We feel good with where we’re at right now. Look, it’s the National Football League. We’re always looking to improve through our own roster development, develop through our practice squad, and throughout the year as different moves happen on different rosters, that can obviously impact our own roster as well.”