Can Sandro Platzgummer, a former Austrian football star who is with the New York Giants via the International Player Pathway Program, be more than a curiosity?
Let’s take a look at Platzgummer as he returns to the Giants for a second season.
Position: Running back
Contract: One-year, $660,000 | 2021 cap hit: $660,000
Career to date
Platzgummer spent all of 2020 on the Giants’ practice squad via the International Player Pathway Program exemption. He did not count against the practice squad roster limit, and was not eligible to be added to the 53-man roster.
The Giants again have a roster exemption for Platzgummer, meaning they could carry 91 players at the beginning of training camp. Platzgummer would have to earn a spot on the standard practice squad to be eligible for a call-up, not simply be kept because of the exemption.
Late last season I asked Giants running backs coach Burton Burns if Platzgummer had an NFL skill set.
“Yeah, he does. He does some really good things,” Burns said. “Right now the biggest challenge for him is learning how to play this game, as simple as that sounds. Once he figures that out, he’s got some ability.”
Can he actually be an NFL back?
“He’s played football at a totally different level than he’s playing at now, so the game is kind of new for him. He knows football, but playing at this level has been a new challenge for him,” Burns said.
“He’s a hard worker and he works at trying to improve. He knows exactly where he is. As far as the future it just depends on how he continues to improve.”