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Giants’ roster move: P Johnny Townsend claimed on waivers

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Punter Ryan Anderson reportedly sent packing

Los Angeles Rams v Oakland Raiders
Johnny Townsend
Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images

The New York Giants made a roster move on Wednesday, claiming punter Johnny Townsend off waivers from the Oakland Raiders. The news was first reported by Mike Garafolo of NFL Network.

The move seemed curious at first as the Giants already had two punters on their 90-man roster, but multiple reports have quickly surfaced that the Giants are waiving punter Ryan Anderson.

Riley Dixon is the incumbent. Entering his fourth season in the NFL, Dixon helped the Giants rank seventh in the NFL in net yards per punt last season at 42.9.

Anderson, who kicked at Rutgers in 2017, is a left-footed punter who was impressive throughout the spring and summer. His departure at this point should be considered a bit of a surprise.

Here is what Giants coach Pat Shurmur said about Anderson earlier this week:

“I think he’s done a good job in terms of he’s kind of caught our eye. He’s made plays. He’s worthy of the reps that he’s getting.”

Now, the Giants have replaced Anderson and added Townsend to the mix. The 24-year-old averaged 43.2 yards per punt in 2018, 31st in the league, during his rookie season. He was 29th in the league with a 38.3-yard net average.

The Raiders used a fifth-round draft pick on Townsend a year ago. This year, Townsend lost a punting competition in Oakland with undrafted free agent rookie A.J. Cole.