Giants roster moves: Keenan Robinson placed on IR; Three players signed

Posted Nov 14, 2017

The Giants have made a series of roster moves as the team gets set for Week 11 vs. the Chiefs: 

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants made a series of roster moves today that brought them a linebacker, an offensive lineman and a return specialist.

They added a pair of free agents in linebacker Akeem Ayers and guard John Greco, and signed wide receiver/return specialist Kalif Raymond off their practice squad.

To create room for the newcomers, the Giants waived defensive end Devin Taylor and wide receiver Ed Eagan, and placed linebacker Keenan Robinson on injured reserve. Robinson suffered a quad injury against the Rams on Nov. 5.

The Giants also signed tight end Matt LaCosse and offensive lineman Nick Becton to their practice squad.

Ayers is the third linebacker signed by the Giants in two weeks, joining Kelvin Sheppard and Deontae Skinner. Three players in that position group were inactive on Sunday in San Francisco: B.J. Goodson (ankle), Devon Kennard and Robinson (both with quad injuries). Sheppard left the game with a groin strain.

Ayers, 6-3 and 247 pounds, has played in 91 regular-season games with 51 starts for Tennessee, New England, the St. Louis Rams and Indianapolis. He has also played in three postseason games, including Super Bowl XLIX with New England. Ayers’ career totals include 306 tackles (211 solo), 15.5 sacks, 22 passes defensed, four forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and four interceptions. He also has 15 special team tackles.

Ayers entered the NFL as a second-round draft choice (39th overall) by the Titans in 2011, from UCLA. He played in all 16 games in each of his first three seasons, with 43 starts. On Oct. 22, 2014, he was traded to New England for a sixth-round draft choice and was on the Patriots team that defeated Seattle in the Super Bowl. Ayers was signed by the Rams as a free agent on March 12, 2015 and played in all 16 games with 10 starts. A free agent once again, he joined the Colts on Sept. 6, 2016 and played in all 16 games last year, with no starts. Ayers has not played this season.

Greco, 6-4 and 318 pounds, has played in 111 games with 70 starts for St. Louis and Cleveland. He has started 45 games at right guard, 24 at left guard, and one at center.

Greco was a third-round draft choice (65th overall selection) by the Rams in 2008, from Toledo. After playing three seasons with St. Louis, Greco was traded to the Browns on Aug. 1, 2011. In his first three seasons with Cleveland, he played in 43 games with 24 starts, all at left guard. He started all 16 games for the Browns in 2014, all 14 in which he played in 2015, and all 12 games in which he played in 2016.

This year Greco was released by the Browns on Sept. 2. He signed with the New Orleans Saints on Oct. 2, but did not play in a game before being cut on Nov. 8.

Raymond, 5-9 and 160 pounds, played four games for the Denver Broncos in 2016 and two games for the Jets earlier this season. He has averaged 9.3 yards on 16 punt returns and 24.7 yards on nine kickoff returns.

Raymond was originally signed by the Broncos as a rookie free agent on May 3, 2016. He was waived at the end of training camp and spent the first three months of the season on the practice squad before joining the active roster on Dec. 2. Raymond played in four games for the Broncos, and averaged 10.1 yards on 11 punt returns with a long of 25, and 22.8 yards on six kickoff returns, with a long of 40.

Kalif was again waived at the end of training camp this year and was awarded to the Jets on Sept. 3. He played in the season’s first two games and averaged 7.6 yards on five punt returns – again, with a long of 25 – and 28.3 yards on three kickoff returns – again, with a long of 40.

Raymond was waived on Sept. 19, signed to the Jets’ practice squad two days later and waived on Sept. 26. The Giants first signed him to their practice squad on Oct. 11, cut him on Halloween and re-signed him the following day.

The Giants lost their primary return specialist, Dwayne Harris, to a broken foot on Oct. 8. He subsequently underwent surgery and was placed on injured reserve. Since then, Eagan has been their primary punt returner, and running back Shane Vereen has returned kickoffs.

The Giants rank 24th in the NFL with a 6.2-yard punt return average, and are tied for 17th with a 21.4-yard kickoff return average.

Taylor was re-signed by the Giants on Oct. 31 and was on the roster for two games. He had one tackle vs. the Rams and did not play Sunday in San Francisco.

Eagan was signed off the practice squad on Oct. 10 and averaged 5.0 yards on four punt returns in four games.

Robinson played in six games with three starts and had 32 tackles (20 solo). He missed the season’s first two games with a concussion.

LaCosse played in three games with one start but did not have a reception. He was waived on Saturday when fullback Shane Smith was added to the roster.

Becton, 6-6 and 322 pounds, played in one game for San Diego in 2013 and five for Chicago in 2015. He was on the Giants’ practice squad from Aug. 31-Nov. 4, 2014. Becton was most recently on the Kansas City Chiefs’ practice squad from Oct. 23-Nov. 9. He has also done practice squad stints with San Diego and Chicago.