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Ryan Connelly claimed off waivers by Minnesota Vikings

Connelly is now a former Giant

NFL: New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings have claimed linebacker Ryan Connelly off waivers, after he had been cut on Saturday by the New York Giants.

Connelly was released by the Giants as they trimmed their roster from 80 players down to their initial 53-man roster on Saturday. The news of Connelly being cut came as a surprise to Giants fans, who had him penciled in as a potential starter next to free agent addition Blake Martinez.

Connelly became a fan favorite following a promising rookie preseason, and fans widely believed that he could be a core piece for the future of the defense following an impressive game against the Washington Fooball Team in week 4 of 2019.

However, that game also proved to be the final one of his Giants career, as his afternoon ended abruptly with a torn ACL. Connelly worked his way back from the injury but was often seen working on the side in training camp.

The Giants roster is sure to be fluid over the next few days as rookie S Xavier McKinney and veteran linebacker David Mayo are expected to be moved to IR. It’s possible that the Giants had hoped to re-sign Connelly after moving one of them to the injured reserve, or perhaps sign Connelly to the practice squad. If so, their gamble didn’t come out in their favor.

It’s also possible that the new defensive coaching staff, which seems to prize versatility above all else, is looking for a different skillset than what Connelly brings to the field.

Regardless of the Giants’ motivation, the developments certainly come as a surprise.