Having lost three kickoff and punt returners this season, and with the wide receiver position continuing to be decimated by injuries, the New York Giants added some protection for those positions on Wednesday by signing Pharoh Cooper to their practice squad.
The 26-year-old Cooper was a fourth-round selection by the Los Angeles Rams in 2016. He has played for the Rams, Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals and Carolina Panthers.
Cooper was an All-Pro return man for the Rams in 2017 when he averaged 12.5 yards on 32 punt returns and 27.4 yards on 34 kickoff returns. In his career, he has returned 82 punts for an average of 8.9 yards and 104 kickoffs for an average of 24.3 yards.
As a receiver, the 5-foot-11, 208-pound Cooper has only 55 receptions for 506 yards (9.2 yards per catch) in his career.
The Giants have lost return men C.J. Board (broken arm) and Jabrill Peppers (ruptured ACL) for the season. Dante Pettis took over as punt returner Monday night and suffered a shoulder injury trying to recover the ball after he muffed a catch.
The Giants to use Kadarius Toney to return punts on Monday. They have been using cornberback Darnay Holmes and wide receiver John Ross to return kickoffs.
At wide receiver, Pettis, Kenny Golladay and Sterling Shepard are on the injury report and unlikely to be available Sunday. Board is on IR.