With Jonathan Casillas (ankle/wrist) and B.J. Goodson (shin) both hurting, the New York Giants Thursday made a pair of roster moves to shore up their linebacking corps.
The Giants re-signed linebacker Deontae Skinner and promoted Cap Capi from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. To make room, the Giants placed linebacker J.T. Thomas, who had been dealing with a groin injury, on injured reserve and waived fullback Shane Smith.
Skinner, 26, played in four games for the Giants last season. He was with the Giants this preseason and was cut when 53-man rosters were formed. Skinner made the New England Patriots roster as an undrafted free agent in 2014, appearing in seven games with one start.
Capi, 6-foot-3 and 247 pounds, was signed to the Giants’ practice squad on Sept. 4. He spent most of the 2016 season on the practice squad of the Arizona Cardinals, who released him on Sept. 2.
Capi had an outstanding preseason for Arizona. He had 13 tackles (11 solo), 1.5 sacks and eight quarterback hits. Capi entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2015 and has also been on the practice squads of the Baltimore Ravens and Atlanta Falcons.
Thomas missed all but one game in 2015 due to a knee injury. He made it back this season, but the groin injury kept him off the field and the Giants’ other injuries necessitated dropping him from the roster.
Smith, a rookie, made the roster as an undrafted free agent. He played eight snaps on offense Week 1, four in Week 2 and appeared only on special teams in Week 3. If the Giants use a fullback at all going forward, Rhett Ellison would seem likely to fill that role. He has prior experience doing so with the Minnesota Vikings. Jerell Adams could also see some action there.
“I think we always want to have some type of flexibility in that there are guys on the roster who are able to line up in the backfield and be a lead blocker,” offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan said Thursday after the move was announced.