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Giants roster moves: LB Jaylon Smith signed to the active roster

The Giants add linebacker help ahead of their game against the Bears

NFL: Washington Football Team at New York Giants Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants announced on Saturday that they have signed linebacker Jaylon Smith to the active roster from their practice squad.

Smith is expected to reinforce a linebacking corps that has struggled through the first three games of the season. The Giants face a Chicago Bears team this week that is very adept at running the football and they are likely expecting to see a heavy dose of Khalil Herbert.

The Giants have relied heavily on defensive backs to play closer at the second level as pseudo-linebackers. And while that has given the defense speed and versatility, the lack of size has shown up when offensive linemen are able to climb to the second level.

Smith was first signed to the Giants’ practice squad on Dec. 1 of 2021 and was promoted to the active roster on Dec. 20. While Smith wasn’t the linebacker he was previously in his career, he played relatively well for the Giants down the stretch.

Smith played in four games, starting one, and finished with 19 total tackles, 1 tackle for a loss, a pass defensed, a sack, and a QB hit.

Despite that, the Giants didn’t re-sign Smith over the course of the 2022 off season. They signed him back to their practice squad on September 20th of this year.

The Giants had an open roster spot following the season-ending injury to wide receiver Sterling Shepard and the decision to release running back Antonio Williams.

The team has also elevated veteran wide receiver Marcus Johnson and defensive tackle Henry Mondeaux from the practice squad.