EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants made a series of roster moves in advance of their NFC East showdown against the Washington Commanders in MetLife Stadium.
Outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari and defensive back Tony Jefferson were activated from injured reserve. Both players returned to practice this week after lengthy absences.
Defensive tackle Vernon Butler and defensive back Zyon Gilbert were elevated from the practice squad. And tight end Nick Vannett was signed off the practice squad to the active roster.
Another tight end, Tanner Hudson, was waived.
Ojulari, a second-year pro, has played in just two games this season and none since the Giants' victory against Chicago on Oct. 2 when he re-injured the calf muscle he first hurt in training camp. He was placed on injured reserve on Oct. 22.
As a rookie in 2021, Ojulari played in all 17 games with 13 starts and led the Giants with a franchise rookie-record 8.0 sacks.
Jefferson was signed to the Giants' practice squad on Sept. 1, three days after he was released by the Baltimore Ravens. He played in two games as a practice squad elevation before he was signed to the roster on Oct. 8 and played against Green Bay in London the following day. Jefferson injured his foot in that game and was placed on I.R. on Oct. 15.
Butler, 6-4 and 325 pounds, was signed to the practice squad on Nov 15. He entered the NFL as a first-round draft choice by Carolina in 2016 and played four seasons for the Panthers before beginning a two-year stint with the Buffalo Bills in 2020. In Buffalo, he became familiar to Giants coach Brian Daboll and general manager Joe Schoen
In 76 regular-season games, including 19 starts, Butler has 106 tackles (56 sacks) 8.0 sacks, 15 tackles for loss and 21 quarterback hits. He has also played in five postseason games with three starts and was credited with three tackles (two solo).
Gilbert, 6-1 and 182 pounds, is poised to make this NFL debut tomorrow. He joined the Giants as a rookie free agent on May 16. Gilbert was waived on Aug. 30 and signed the following day to the practice squad, where he has spent the entire season.
Gilbert played in 60 games at Florida Atlantic, where he made 244 tackles (154 solo) and intercepted five passes.
Vannett, 6-6 and 261 pounds, was signed to the practice squad on Nov. 22. He had been released by the New Orleans Saints three days earlier.
A seven-year veteran, Vannett has played in 80 regular-season games with 35 starts for Seattle, Pittsburgh, Denver and New Orleans, plus one postseason game for the Seahawks. His career totals include 86 receptions for 826 yards and six touchdowns.
In addition to Vannett, the Giants are expected to have rookie tight end Daniel Bellinger in uniform for the first time since he injured his eye in Jacksonville on Oct. 23.
Hudson was signed by the Giants on Aug. 25. He played in all 11 games this season and caught 10 passes for 132 yards. Hudson twice had a season-high three receptions, for 58 yards at Seattle on Oct. 30 and 24 yards vs. Houston on Nov. 13.
Once again, the New York Giants are bringing back their classic blue uniforms from the '80s and '90s this Sunday as part of two Legacy Games presented by Quest.