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Giants sign 14 to practice squad; 2 spots open

HELMET

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Five wide receivers were among the 14 players the Giants today signed to their practice squad. All but one of the players – kicker Ryan Santoso – was waived by the team yesterday or today.

The 14 practice squaders who were with the Giants in training camp are quarterback Cooper Rush; wide receivers Johnny Holton, Alex Bachman, Derrick Dillon, Austin Mack, and Binjimen Victor; offensive linemen Tyler Haycraft, Chad Slade and Kyle Murphy; defensive lineman Niko Lalos; defensive backs Chris Williamson and Jarren Williams; and long snapper Carson Tinker.

In addition, running back Sandro Platzgummer is on the practice squad, but the Giants receive an exemption for him because they were one of four teams chosen to carry an additional overseas player on their practice squad in 2020 as part of the NFL's International Player Pathway Program. Platzgummer is ineligible to join the active roster this season.

The Giants have two open slots remaining on their practice squad.

View photos of every member of the Giants' practice squad.

Santoso played in three December games last season for the Tennessee Titans, who signed him on Nov. 27. He attempted no field goals but had touchbacks on nine of 16 kickoffs (56.3%). Santoso was waived by Tennessee on Dec. 17.

He was in the Detroit Lions' training camp in both 2018 and 2019.

Santoso handled both kicking and punting duties at the University of Minnesota from 2015-17. He made 29 of 39 field goal attempts (74.3%), including a career-long 52-yarder vs. Purdue on Oct. 18, 2014. The kick, with 4:59 remaining in the game, lifted the Golden Gophers to a 39-38 victory. Santoso also converted all but one of his 77 point-after attempts. He scored 163 points (29 field goals and 76 PATs). Santoso kicked off 168 times and recorded 80 touchbacks.

In addition, he punted 144 times and averaged 41.8 yards (fourth-best in school history) and placed 46 punts inside the 20. He had a career long 68-yard punt vs. Michigan State in 2017.

Rush was awarded off waivers to the Giants on May 5, one day after he was released by the Dallas Cowboys. He played three seasons in Dallas and has an intimate knowledge of the offensive system brought to the Giants by coordinator Jason Garrett, the former Cowboys head coach.

Holton joined the Giants last Wednesday. He played three seasons with the Oakland Raiders and last year with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Holton has played in 48 regular-season games with four starts and has 14 career receptions for 273 yards and three touchdowns.

Bachman was signed to the Giants' practice squad on Nov. 12, 2019 and to a reserve/futures contract on Dec. 30, 2019. Dillon (LSU), Mack and Victor (both from Ohio State) are all rookie free agents. All four players stood out at times during training camp.

Haycraft (Louisville) and Murphy (Rhode Island) are rookie free agents. The former was a tackle in college who spent much of camp learning how to play center.

Lalos is a rookie free agent from Dartmouth. He worked on developing as a long snapper in training camp.

Williamson was the only one of the Giants' 10 draft choices this year who did not make the final roster. Williams is a rookie free agent from the Giants' former training camp home, the University at Albany.

Tinker signed with the Giants four days ago. He played in 69 games for the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2013-18. Tinker did not miss a game in his first four years. But in 2017, he tore his right ACL in a non-contact drill early in training camp and spent the season on injured reserve. Tinker returned to play the first five games in 2018, but an injury to the same knee that was unrelated to the ACL forced him back to I.R. Last year, he was released by Jacksonville on March 8 and spent the season out of football.

The NFL instituted several changes this year regarding practice squads because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The league was going to increase the size of the squads from 10 to 12 players (and then to 14 in 2022) prior to the pandemic but increased that limit to 16 players for this season.

Practice squad eligibility has also been altered. A player was previously prohibited from joining a practice squad if he had more than three accrued seasons in the NFL. But the new rules permit teams to keep up to six players on the squad regardless of their service time.

In addition, each Tuesday, teams will be allowed to protect up to four players on their practice squad from being poached by other clubs. In the past, practice squad players were free to be signed to any other team's 53-man roster at any time.

View photos of the Giants' active roster as it currently stands.

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