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Giants activating rookie defensive lineman R.J. McIntosh [Updated]

The Giant will finally see their fifth-round rookie on the field

NCAA Football: Russell Athletic Bowl-West Virginia vs Miami Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur confirmed to the media Tuesday morning that the team would be activating rookie defensive tackle RJ. McIntosh from the Non-Football Injury list.

In a corresponding roster move to make room for McIntosh, the team has waived UDFA return specialist Quadree Henderson.

“He’ll fit into the rotation,” Shurmur said. “We’ll see how he progresses. He’s done a good job so far. We’re just learning about him. We’ll just see how much he can handle.”

In response to his activation, McIntosh himself said, “It’s very exciting. The opportunity is finally here, I’m a step closer, and I plan on going out and making an impact on defense.”

This will mark the first time the Giants have seen their fifth-round pick in any live-game action since scouting him at the University of Miami. McIntosh missed the Giants’ offseason program, training camp, preseason, and the first half of his rookie season with an undisclosed ailment.

It had been previously reported that he had a thyroid condition about which the Giants knew when they drafted him. However, the condition which kept him off the field the past few months seems to be something unexpected.

“We had to deal with a medical issue that we were not aware of when we drafted him,” Shurmur said. “We helped rectify that. As long as he’s a Giant we’re working with him and we’re looking forward to seeing him do good things.”

For his part, McIntosh says that he is back to feeling like ‘himself’ again. Of course, that doesn’t mean he can’t still get better, but he says he is finally back to normal.

McIntosh said, “I feel like I, obviously, could get better. But I feel good, I feel quicker, my reaction is better than a few weeks ago. My first step is better, but I can obviously get better, get better with my hands. But, you know, I feel normal.”

The rookie out of Miami brings an intriguing combination of length and athleticism with a frame that is well-suited to playing either the 5-technique or 3-technique, depending on the defensive package.

McIntosh is well known for having a terrific game against former Notre Dame offensive guard, Quenton Nelson. The Giants can only hope he has similar performances against other NFL-caliber linemen.