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Giants Now: Inside Sandro's journey to the NFL

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Inside Sandro Platzgummer's journey to the NFL

Austrian running back Sandro Platzgummer was allocated to the Giants last April as part of the NFL International Player Pathway Program. After spending the 2020 season on the practice squad due to a roster exemption, the Giants re-signed Platzgummer this offseason under similar circumstances.

Platzgummer saw some playing time in Saturday's preseason opener against the New York Jets, and the 24-year-old running back made the most of his opportunity.

With the Giants facing a 1st and 10 from their own one-yard line towards the start of the fourth quarter, the 6-foot-0, 210-pound back ripped off an explosive 48-yard run, a play that had the entire Giants sideline exploding with excitement.

View photos of Austrian running back Sandro Platzgummer's time with the Giants.

Platzgummer finished the night with 51 rushing yards in what was his first game action in the NFL.

"You know what, everyone likes Sandro. Best way I can put it," head coach Joe Judge said Sunday about the sideline's reaction to Platzgummer's big run against the Jets. "Everyone likes him. He works hard. Everyone was glad to see his opportunity, and everyone was happy for him when he got in and made the most of it. I think you can boil it down right there. He's a guy that the players really respect and like.

"These guys in the program he's in, as far as some of the overseas players, it's always a different path for these guys, a different background. I think these guys understand and recognize he's from Austria, he's far away from home. There's some unique things about Sandro. He's really finishing up and finalizing being a doctor over in Europe, so there's a lot of things to him. He works hard. He doesn't say boo. He doesn't ever complain. He just comes in and does his job and the team respects the way he works. When anybody has success like that, I think everyone shares and enjoys it.

Check out the video below for an inside look at Platzgummer's journey from Austria to the NFL.

Giants mourn passing of former tight end Joe Walton

Joe Walton, who played three seasons with the Giants in the early 1960s before a long coaching career in the NFL and college ranks, died Sunday. He was 85 years old.

A native of Beaver Falls, Pa., Walton was a two-time All-American at the University of Pittsburgh as a tight end. He was selected in the second round of the 1957 NFL Draft by Washington, where he played four seasons before joining the New York Giants in 1961.

The Giants advanced to the NFL Championship Game all three seasons (1961-1963) that Walton played for the organization. He became a frequent target of Y.A. Tittle and famously caught three of the Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback's team-record seven touchdowns in a 1962 game against Washington. Walton's three touchdowns stood as franchise tight end record for more than 50 years until it was tied by Larry Donnell in 2014.

Upon retirement, Walton spent four years as a scout for the Giants before becoming the team's wide receivers coach. It kicked off a long coaching career, which included seven years as head coach of the New York Jets (1983-1989). His teams twice won at least 10 games and advanced to the postseason in 1985 and 1986. After his tenure with the Jets ended, he spent two seasons as the Pittsburgh Steelers' offensive coordinator and then built the Robert Morris University football program from the ground up.

Giants acquire DB Keion Crossen in trade with Texans

The Giants today bolstered both their special teams and secondary when they acquired cornerback Keion Crossen in a trade with the Houston Texans.

Crossen played his rookie season in New England in 2018 when Joe Judge was the Patriots' special teams coordinator.

Houston will receive a 2023 sixth-round draft choice from the Giants in exchange for Crossen.

Crossen, 5-10 and 185 pounds, is entering his fourth NFL season. He has played in 43 regular-season games with four starts and played in five postseason games for the Patriots and Texans, including Super Bowl LIII.

Crossen's career totals include 49 tackles (38 solo), one interception, six passes defensed and 24 special teams tackles (19 solo) in the regular season and one tackle on defense and four on special teams – all unassisted – in the postseason.

View photos of new Giants defensive back and special teamer Keion Crossen.

Giants sign QB Brian Lewerke; Clayton Thorson waived/injured

The Giants today announced a change at quarterback, though the news concerns only the No. 3 position on the depth chart.

Free agent Brian Lewerke was added to the roster and Clayton Thorson (concussion) was waived/injured. Thorson was injured on the Giants' final offensive play in their 12-7 preseason-opening loss to the Jets Saturday night. He was sacked in the end zone for a safety by Jonathan Marshall and Hamilcar Rashed with just 1:39 remaining. Thorson was quickly attended to by the team's medical staff before being helped off the field.

Thorson spent most of the 2020 season on the Giants' practice squad.

View photos of new Giants quarterback Brian Lewerke.

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