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NY Giants designate Jonathan Stewart to return from injured reserve

Veteran running back could he heading back to active roster

NFL: Cleveland Browns at New York Giants
Jonathan Stewart
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Jonathan Stewart Experience does not appear to have come to a conclusion for the New York Giants. The Giants on Thursday changed Stewart’s roster status from Injured Reserve to Designated for Return/Return to Practice.

That means the 31-year-old who played in just three games and carried six times for 17 yards before going on IR with a foot injury could return to the active roster at some point this season.

Stewart, in his 11th season, spent his first 10 years with the Carolina Panthers before signing a two-year, $6.8 million contract ($3.45 million guaranteed) with the Giants.

The Giants have shown little faith in second-year man Wayne Gallman as the backup to Saquon Barkley. Gallman has only 17 carries for 51 yards (3.0 yards per carry) and 8 receptions thus far.

Why bring Stewart back?

To be honest, I don’t understand bringing Stewart back to the roster. If the Giants were making a playoff push perhaps, but not at 2-7 and pointing toward a future a 31-year-old back with diminishing skills as evidenced by his declining yards per carry average in recent seasons (4.6 in 2014 to 3.4 last year) probably isn’t part of.

I’m not sure why the Giants appear to be down on Gallman, who would appear to be a dual-threat back as a runner and receiver who would fit the philosophy of coach Pat Shurmur. Using a roster spot on, and giving carries to, Stewart at this point, though, would be a head-scratcher.