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Giants activate Guard Geoff Schwartz

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J –** Geoff Schwartz is eligible to make his long-waited Giants' debut Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.

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The Giants today activated the veteran guard off injured reserve/designated for return. He was placed there on Sept. 3 because of the dislocated right big toe he suffered in a preseason game vs. the Jets on Aug. 22. Today was the deadline for the Giants to activate Schwartz or keep him on I.R.

"I am ready to go," Schwartz said. "I had a couple good weeks of practice. Last week was real good. I took every rep for the scout team. I felt good out there. I expect I'll be ready to go."

The Giants created room on the roster for Schwartz by waiving linebacker Justin Anderson, who was signed off the practice squad on Saturday and played on special teams yesterday in the Giants' loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Coach Tom Coughlin would not say what position Schwartz will play.

"I have no preference, other than getting him going," Coughlin said.

Before he was hurt, Schwartz played left guard, where rookie Weston Richburg has started all 10 regular-season games.

Schwartz, a six-year veteran, was signed as a free agent by the Giants on March 12. He has previously played for Carolina, Minnesota and, in 2013, Kansas City. Schwartz has played in 61 regular-season games with 26 starts and in two postseason games with one start. Last year with the Chiefs, he started six games at right guard and one at left guard, but he has played several positions along the line.

"I've started 11 games at tackle." Schwartz said. "I played three and a half quarters last year at tackle in the last game of the season. I can play tackle. Obviously, I was signed as a guard, but I think they like my versatility, and I feel comfortable definitely playing tackle."

Schwartz was eligible to return against Indianapolis on Nov. 3, but the Giants brought him along slowly.

"They wanted me to get the full three weeks of practice in," Schwartz said. "If we hadn't practiced that bye week, we would have lost about 10 days of just not practicing. I needed practice. There is only so much I can do as far as cardio off to the side or pushing that cart. What it came down to was I needed to be able to take those practice reps.

"It was a pretty significant injury. It takes a little time for it to heal. Once you get it healed, it takes a little bit of time to get your strength back and that is kind of what it took. I think with that bye week, they would have started my clock, so we waited a little bit of time for that week to pass before we could start practicing again."

The Giants can use Schwartz's blocking ability up front. They rushed for only 65 yards yesterday vs. San Francisco and are ranked 21st in the NFL with an average of 100.3 rushing yards per game.

"We need to finish on a positive note," Schwartz said. "Just speaking offensively, we have had some struggles running the ball and that starts with us up front. I think we need to re-establish that identity of running the ball. It is not going to be just me that helps with that. We have to do that as a whole unit, and I am excited to be a part of that. It has to be done. That is our job, to run the ball, and especially when the weather gets bad. It keeps our defense off the field. There are a lot of reasons why running the ball is good for us. Hopefully, I can just help with that process."

View the best photos from the game vs. the 49ers

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