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Giants establish practice squad amid roster moves


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants this re-signed two players they had released and placed two more on injured reserve.

Long snapper Casey Kreiter, who was released Tuesday, and wide receiver C.J. Board, whose contract was terminated earlier today, are back on the 53-man roster.

Wide receiver John Ross and rookie outside linebacker Elerson Smith will begin the season on I.R.

Kreiter joined the Giants in 2020 after four seasons with the Denver Broncos and was the snapper for all 16 games last season. His contract was terminated yesterday, and he was brought back today.

Last season, Board's first with the Giants, he played in 14 games with four starts and caught 11 passes for 101 yards, with a long reception of 16 yards. He had a season-high three receptions for 32 yards at Chicago on Sept. 20. He also returned two kickoffs for 54 yards and one punt for six yards. Board had two special teams tackles.

Ross, a free agent acquisition who spent four years in Cincinnati, has been sidelined since suffering a hamstring injury in practice on Aug. 9. The ninth overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft by the Bengals, he has 51 receptions in 27 career games.

Smith, the Giants' fourth-round draft choice this year, has also been sidelined with a hamstring injury. He had 22.0 sacks in 38 games at Northern Iowa.

Ross and Smith will be eligible to return to the roster after the season's first three games.

View photos of the New York Giants' active 53-man roster as it currently stands.

The Giants also announced 13 players have accepted offers to join their practice squad. Each was with the team in training camp before being released Tuesday.

Joining the practice squad are wide receivers Matt Cole, David Sills and Damion Willis; tight ends Nakia Griffin-Stewart and Jake Hausmann; offensive linemen Kenny Wiggins, Jackson Barton, Jake Burton and Brett Heggie; defensive linemen David Moa and Willie Henry; outside linebacker Niko Lalos; and defensive back Jordyn Peters.

Running back Sandro Platzgummer will spend a second season on the practice squad as part of the NFL's International Player Pathway Program.

The NFL has retained the roster and practice squad rules it implemented during the 2020 season, the first played under COVID-19 restrictions. Each team can carry 16 practice squad players, including up to six veterans. Platzgummer does not count against the 16.

Teams can protect up to four practice squad players per week from being signed by other teams. They can elevate up to two practice squad players to the active roster, without removing any current players, before 4 p.m. ET the day before a game. In addition, a team can elevate an additional practice squad player within 90 minutes before kickoff in the event of a late COVID-19 positive test result.

Players placed on injured reserve can return after three weeks; previously they had to stay on I.R. for at least six weeks. Finally, there is no limit on the number of players a team can activate from injured reserve.

A look at the Giants' 13 practice squad players:

Cole joined the Giants on Aug. 8, a day after he was released by the Jets. He played wide receiver, contributed on special teams (four tackles, two solo) and demonstrated his versatility by playing cornerback for the first time since high school in Cleveland on Aug. 22, when he assisted on a tackle. Cole also played on special teams, where he had four stops (two solo). Cole made his NFL debut for the San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle on Jan. 3. He played 16 snaps on special teams and made two tackles (one solo). Cole entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with the Miami Dolphins, from McKendree University, a Division II school in Lebanon, Ill.

Sills led the Giants in the preseason with seven receptions, for 94 yards and one touchdown vs. the Browns. He had a 37-yard catch against the Jets. Sills spent the entire 2020 season on injured reserve after fracturing his foot in training camp. He was signed to the Giants' practice squad on Sept. 2, 2019 and to their active roster on Dec. 17. He was inactive for the final two games of the 2019 season, at Washington on Dec. 22 and vs. Philadelphia on Dec. 29.

Willis joined the Giants on July 31, shortly after his release by the Denver Broncos. He had a team-high 112 receiving yards and two touchdowns in the preseason on six catches, including a 43-yard score with eight seconds remaining against New England that was the Giants' longest completion of the summer. Willis played in 10 games with two starts for the 2019 Cincinnati Bengals and had nine receptions for 82 yards.

Griffin-Stewart had three receptions for 30 yards in the preseason. He was signed to the Giants' practice squad on Nov. 24, 2020, after stints with Minnesota and Green Bay. He was released by the Giants on Dec. 8 and signed to a reserve/future contract by the Giants on Jan. 11, 2021. In 2019, Griffin-Stewart played in 13 games with 12 starts as a grad transfer at the University of Pittsburgh after beginning his career at Rutgers. He caught 19 passes for 185 yards and one touchdown.

Hausmann, a rookie free agent, was awarded to the Giants off waivers on Aug. 7, one day after he was released by the Detroit Lions. He played in 27 games in four seasons at Ohio State (2017-20) and had three receptions for 26 yards and one touchdown.

Wiggins has the most experience among the practice squad players. He has played in 79 games with 38 starts (31 at right guard, six at left guard, one as an extra lineman) for the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers and Detroit Lions. In 2020, he played four games for Detroit, primarily on special teams. Wiggins signed with the Giants on Nov. 3, 2020. He was released by the Giants on Nov. 13 and signed to their practice squad on Nov. 16. Wiggins signed a reserve/future contract with the Giants on Jan. 4, 2021.

Barton joined the Giants on Sept. 6, 2020, one day after he was waived by the Kansas City Chiefs. In his first season with the Giants, he was inactive for 15 games. Barton was in uniform but did not play at Cincinnati on Nov. 29. In 2019, was inactive for the Kansas City's final six regular-season games and three postseason games.

Burton signed with the Giants as an undrafted rookie on May 13, 2021. Last year, he played as a graduate transfer at Baylor after spending his first four collegiate seasons at UCLA. Burton played 29 games at UCLA and in 2020 he started each of the final eight games at right guard for Baylor. In 2019, he started all 12 games at right tackle in his final season with the Bruins.

Heggie also signed with the Giants as a rookie free agent on May 13. At the University of Florida, he played in 41 games with 31 starts. In 2020, started all 12 games at center and blocked for Heisman Trophy Finalist Kyle Trask. The Gators lead the nation with 378.6 passing yards per game. He was named SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week following his performance at Ole Miss, where Florida's 642 yards were a school record vs. an SEC opponent.

Moa signed a reserve/futures contract with the Giants on Jan. 4. He had nine tackles (five solo) and two forced fumbles in the preseason. He entered the NFL as a rookie free agent in 2020 with the Minnesota Vikings, who waived him at the end of training camp. Moa spent a week on the Atlanta Falcons' practice squad. He joined the Giants' practice squad on Oct. 5 and remained there for the remainder of the season. Moa had 12.5 sacks in five seasons at Boise State.

Henry joined the Giants on Aug. 11. He played in 18 regular-season games with three starts for Baltimore and San Francisco from 2017-20.

Lalos, had eight tackles (two solo) and assisted on a special teams tackle in the just-concluded preseason. As a rookie in 2020, the free agent from Dartmouth played in each of the season's final six games as a rookie in 2020 and totaled five tackles (two solo), one interception and one fumble recovery. He made his NFL debut at Cincinnati on Nov. 29 and intercepted a Brandon Allen pass with 32 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Lalos was the first Giants player to intercept a pass in his pro debut since Sept. 13, 2015, when middle linebacker Uani Unga picked off a Tony Romo pass. The following week in Seattle, Lalo recorded his first two NFL tackles and recovered a fumbled snap. He was the first Giants player with at least one interception and one opponent fumble recovery in first two NFL games since Otto Schnellbacher in 1950.

Peters was signed by the Giants on July 22, waived on Aug. 14 and re-signed last Saturday in time to play against the Patriots the following night. He was with the Jets from May2-July 2. Peters played in 50 games at Auburn, where he 101 tackles (61 solo), 2.0 sacks and one interception.

View photos of the New York Giants 2021 practice squad as it currently stands.

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