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Giants elevate DE Niko Lalos, QB Clayton Thorson; sign QB Alex Tanney to practice squad

New York Giants defensive end Niko Lalos (57) celebrates an interception with teammates during the second half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants today elevated two young players from their practice squad – one who made his NFL debut last week and another who could do so tomorrow, when the Giants face the Seahawks in Seattle.

Defensive end Niko Lalos intercepted a pass on one of his first professional snaps in the Giants' victory last week in Cincinnati. Clayton Thorson will be the backup quarterback if Colt McCoy starts for Daniel Jones, who is doubtful with a hamstring injury he suffered against the Bengals.

Lalos played eight snaps on both defense and special teams vs. Cincinnati, but the rookie free agent from Dartmouth impressed coach Joe Judge long before that.

"He's a guy that week by week has made constant improvement," Judge said this week. "This guy plays on special teams for us, he plays on the defense for us. He also plays on the scout team as a fullback and a tight end. He has shown a lot of improvement throughout the year. … This is a guy that works really, really tirelessly. We saw him do things like you saw on Sunday. We've seen it throughout the year in practice. The opportunity came up for him. I think what will impress you about any player is when the opportunity arises, does the preparation show up. I think it did with Niko."

Thorson has been on the practice squad since Sept. 30. He was a fifth-round draft choice out of Northwestern by Philadelphia in 2019. He spent the entire season on the Eagles' practice squad before signing on Dec. 31 with Dallas, who released him on Sept. 2.

In four seasons at Northwestern, Thorson threw for 10,731 yards and 61 touchdowns.

*The Giants also signed veteran quarterback Alex Tanney to their practice squad. Tanney was a backup for the team in 2018-19 and played in one game, Dec. 15, 2019 vs. Miami.

*Running back Devonta Freeman was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, though he remains on injured reserve with an ankle injury.


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