The injuries just keep coming for the New York Giants.
Wednesday evening it was announced that defensive captain, linebacker Jonathan Casillas would be added to the injured reserve. Casillas has been battling wrist and neck injuries and with just four games left in the season, becomes the 21st player added to the IR by the Giants.
The linebacker position has been dangerously thin for the Giants, and the loss of Casillas only makes it thinner. Signed as a special teams ace, he has emerged as a leader on and off the field for the defense.
In the corresponding roster move, the Giants have promoted wide receiver Darius Powe from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. Linebacker Derrick Matthews has been signed to fill out practice squad.
Powe had a very strong summer and appeared to be a lock to make the final roster before he himself was put on the IR with a hamstring injury. He was ultimately released with an injury settlement and re-signed to the practice squad following the loss of Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, Brandon Marshall, and Dwayne Harris in the game against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Signed as an undrafted free agent out of Cal in 2016, Powe has an intriguing blend of size and athleticism. Measuring 6’3,” 220 pounds, Powe runs a 4.4-second 40-yard dash, 6.96 in the 3-cone drill, 4.29 in the short shuttle, has a vertical leap of 34.5 inches and a broad jump of 10-feet.
He spent all of that season on the practice squad, but the Giants saw enough from him to give him a shot to move up the depth chart this past off-season.
About Powe, offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan said
"From a physical standpoint he's what you're looking for. You see him make plays. Now it's all about how quickly he can take the volume from the meetings to the practice field. He'll be thrown the kitchen sink. Can he process and play fast? He's able to separate. He makes contested catches. He has a big catch radius."
Here is part of a scouting report from veteran scout Dave-Te’ Thomas:
"Powe has a solidly built frame with room to carry at least another fifteen pounds of bulk with no loss in quickness."
"... has ideal size for today's NFL receiver with long limbs for his position, showing marked improvement in his route running skills last season. ... has the athletic skills to develop, but will need patient coaching to teach him the intricacies of the game."
"He takes well to hard coaching and shows a tireless work ethic in practices. He has really taken well to the coaches' program and while he still has a long way to go technique wise, he will not hesitate to ask questions or stay after practices to work on his route running."
Hopefully Powe will get a chance to contribute on offense, and be a bright spot in this depressing season.