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New York Giants practice squad tracker: Giants announce 14 practice squad signings

Yes, Alex Bachman made the list

NFL: New York Giants-Blue & White Scrimmage
Alex Bachman leaps in an effort to make a one-handed catch during a Giants’ intra-squad scrimmage.
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants initial 53-man roster has been set, thought we know there will be adjustments with waiver claims and free agent signings. The next part of the roster equation, though is establishing the 16-player practice squad.

That process can begin officially at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, one hour after players cut Saturday and subject to them clear waivers. Stay right here as we track reported practice squad additions.

First, a quick look at the practice squad rules:

  • Practice squads can include 16 players. The new CBA allowed for 12, up from the previous number of 10. Adjustments to roster caused by COVID-19 bumped that number to 16.
  • Six players on those practice squads can have unlimited NFL experience.
  • Practice squad salaries are $8,400 per week for players who have two or fewer accrued NFL seasons, and $12,000 per week for veterans with more than two accrued seasons.
  • Teams can protect four players on their practice squad each week. While protected, those players cannot be signed to active rosters by the league’s other 31 teams. The list of protected players can change each week.
  • Should players on the active roster test positive for COVID-19 the night before or morning of games, teams can promote an unlimited number of players from the practice squad to the active roster up to 90 minutes prior to kickoff.
  • Two practice squad players can be added to the active roster each week, bringing that roster to 55. Those players can be elevated without terminating a practice squad contract and signing an NFL player contract. Those players revert to the practice squad the day after the game without being subject to waivers.

Heightened importance

While league-wide protocols relating to COVID-19 have worked well thus far, the Giants know that uncertainty caused by the pandemic could necessitate a heavier reliance than ever on practice squad players.

“Really and truly, because of the protocols that are going to be in place during the season, your immediate help is going to be the practice squad guys, because anybody, whether it’s a waiver, a trade, a claim, taking someone off somebody else’s practice squad, or bringing in a street free agent, is going to require time. You can touch them, but they can’t come in your building and they can’t practice. The practice squad is going to be really important, how you set those up, because those guys are going to be your immediate help,” GM Dave Gettleman said during the week.

“At the end of the day, you’re really going to have to really be very intentional about your practice squad. The league has given us that flexibility because they’re allowing us six veterans on the practice squad. They’re allowing for what they call practice squad exception players, and those are guys that have some NFL experience, varsity experience. You’re allowed four of those, so 10 of the 16 could be guys with NFL snaps under their belt. But that’s where your immediate help is going to come from because anybody you get any other way, there’s going to be the protocols, testing cadence, physicals. It’s going to be a process.”

Giants coach Joe Judge also acknowledged that in building the practice squad a balance will have to be struck between best players and important positions where protection is needed.

“I think, ultimately, you want to keep the 16 best players who you can help develop and grow within your program,” Judge said. “At the same time, for the season we’re about to go through, there are considerations you have to have based on your own team’s depth, as well as necessary positions that you may want to provide some insurance with, going through this season.

“I think we’re all very aware of the sudden change you can have at any position group or a team, based on some kind of testing or protocol that may get flagged. We have to be ready as an organization to always be prepared and have guys ready to play in the game.”


Practice squad tracker

The Giants announced Sunday evening that Chad Slade, cut earlier in the day to make room for offensive tackle Jackson Barton, has been added to the practice squad.

The Giants officially announced the signings of 13 players to the practice squad.

QB Cooper Rush
WR Johnny Holton
WR Alex Bachman
WR Derrick Dillon
WR Austin Mack
WR Binjimen Victor
OL Tyler Haycraft
OL Kyle Murphy
DL Niko Lalos
DB Chris Williamson
DB Jarren Williams
LS Carson Tinker
P/PK Ryan Santoro

Defensive back Ryan Lewis is also expected to sign with the Giants, but was not on the list provided Sunday afternoon the team’s PR Department.

If Lewis is indeed signing with the Giants, they would have two spots left on the practice squad.

Running back Sandro Platzgummer is on the practice squad, but the Giants receive an exemption for him because they were one of four teams chosen to carry an additional overseas player on their practice squad in 2020 as part of the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program. Platzgummer is ineligible to join the active roster this season.

Lewis is a 3rd year pro who played in 13 games for the Dolphins in 2019 with 23 tackles, 5 passes defensed, and an interception. The Giants first tried to claim Lewis when he was waived by the Dolphins on July 29th, but the Washington Football Team had a higher priority. It took a while, but the Giants are reuniting him with defensive coordinator Patrick Graham.

No surprise. Kyle Murphy got more money to sign than any other Giants undrafted free agent. They obviously like the kid.

Giants’ practice squad thus far. Remember, these are reports and not official signings until the Giants announce them. So far, 10 reported signings

DE Niko Lalos
QB Cooper Rush
P/PK Ryan Santoso
WR Austin Mack
WR Derrick Dillon
WR Johnny Holton
WR Alex Bachman
LS Carson Tinker
OL Tyler Haycraft
CB Jarren Williams

Promising undrafted defensive lineman Niko Lalos earns a spot.

Cooper Rush will be the Giants’ third quarterback, an important spot in the COVI-19 era. Always figured Rush was more likely to return than Alex Tanney.

This move makes a ton of sense. Ryan Santoso did both placekicking and punting while at Tennessee, and can handle both for the Giants in an emergency. Santoso handled kickoffs in three games for the Tennessee Titans last season.

So, the Giants keep three of the young wide receivers who impressed in training camp. Alex Bachman, Austin Mack, Derrick Dillon all join the practice squad.

Thought Johnny Holton might make the 53 in the 2019 Cody Core role. We might see him there eventually.

The signing of Carson Tinker to the practice squad was obvious from the second the Giants added him a few days ago.

Alex Bachman, hero of Giants fans this summer, will be on the practice squad.

A collegiate right tackle, Tyler Haycraft made a nice transition to center this summer. Was hoping he’d land back on the practice squad. The Giants might have a player here.

This one was pretty obvious. Here is our feature on Jarren Williams, with quotes from Greg Gattuso, his coach at UAlbany.

Looks like Jon Halapio won’t be joining the practice squad. [Here’s our full story]

That’s news that probably makes some Giants fans happy. Here is my initial practice squad prediction:

If Halapio is indeed going to pass on a practice squad assignment, that might open a spot for undrafted free agent offensive lineman Kyle Murphy.