EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants today added a familiar player and a newcomer to their roster as they prepare to face the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday in MetLife Stadium.
Guard Will Hernandez was activated off the Reserve/Covid-19 list after missing two games. Also added was wide receiver/return specialist Dante Pettis, who received a commissioner's roster exemption when he was signed last week.
The Giants also waived cornerback Corey Ballentine.
Hernandez was placed on the Reserve/Covid list on Oct. 29. When he did not play four days later against Tampa Bay, it ended his career-beginning streaks of 39 consecutive starts at left guard and 2,523 offensive snaps, including 429 this season. Rookie Shane Lemieux started in his place.
Coach Joe Judge said yesterday he plans to rotate Hernandez, Lemieux and right guard Kevin Zeitler.
Pettis, 6-1 and 195 pounds, was awarded off waivers last Wednesday to the Giants, who received a roster exemption while he was in the Covid-19 protocols. He was released the previous day by San Francisco.
Pettis played in 28 games with 12 starts in three seasons with the 49ers. His career totals are 38 receptions for 576 yards and seven touchdowns.
This season, Pettis played in five games with a start in the season opener against Arizona. He played eight snaps on offense and five on special teams against the Giants two weeks later. Pettis did not have a reception this season.
Pettis joined the 49ers as a 2018 second-round draft choice, from the University of Washington.
His most significant contribution could be on special teams. Pettis set an NCAA record with nine career punt returns for touchdowns with the Huskies. He averaged 14.2 yards on 90 returns.
Ballentine was the Giants' sixth-round draft choice in 2019. In two seasons, he played in 22 games with four starts – two each year.
This season, Ballentine started the first two games at right cornerback. His playing time began to decrease in Week 3, when Isaac Yiadom and then Ryan Lewis moved into the starting lineup. Ballentine did not play a defensive snap in the Giants' victory Sunday in Washington.
Ballentine averaged 21.2 yards on nine kickoff returns, with a long runback of 28 yards, in a five-game stretch from Sept. 27-Oct. 22. Dion Lewis has returned kickoffs the last two games and now Pettis is a candidate to take over that job.
View photos of the Giants' active roster as it currently stands.