Of the seven players signed, six were released by the Giants in Saturday's cut-down to 53 players. The seventh, offensive tackle Nick Becton, was waived Tuesday by the San Diego Chargers.
Here are the seven players on the Giants' practice squad so far:
RB Michael Cox
CB Bennett Jackson
CB Chandler Fenner
LB Dan Fox
DE Jordan Stanton
WR Julian Talley
OT Nick Becton
Obviously, that leaves three spots still to fill. The Giants were interested in signing defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles to the practice squad after waiving him Saturday, but he was claimed off waivers by the New England Patriots.
Nassib will be backup: The Giants wanted 2013 fourth-round pick Ryan Nassib to win the No. 2 quarterback spot in camp, and he did, as they released 2013 backup Curtis Painter and will enter the season with only Nassib behind starter Eli Manning. Nassib played very well in the second halves of the Giants' preseason games. His accuracy remains inconsistent, but he showed good comfort and command of the offense when he was in games.
Beason back: Among the Giants' moves Saturday was the activation of middle linebacker Jon Beason from the PUP list. Beason missed all of training camp with a foot injury but is expected to practice Monday and could see some snaps in the regular-season opener Sept. 8 in Detroit.
What's next: With Kellen Davis cut and only three unproven tight ends left on the roster, the Giants are likely to take a look at tight ends who were cut elsewhere. They also could look for help at tackle as they churn the bottom of their roster in the coming days.
Giants moves: QB Curtis Painter, RB Michael Cox, DT Kelcy Quarles, DE Israel Idonije, CB Bennett Jackson, WR Julian Talley, LB Dan Fox, RB Kendall Gaskins, FB John Conner, OL Jamaal Johnson-Webb, TE Kellen Davis, DE Jordan Stanton, OL Adam Gress, CB Chandler Fenner, S Thomas Gordon, OL Rogers Gaines, OL Mark Asper, LB Terrell Manning, OL Eric Herman (reserve/suspended), CB Jayron Hosley (reserve/suspended), WR Mario Manningham (injured reserve), KR/PR Trindon Holliday (injured reserve).
The New York Giants placed wide receiver Mario Manningham and kick return specialist Trindon Holliday on season-ending injured reserve Saturday, the team announced. Manningham strained a calf muscle in Thursday's preseason finale, and Holliday struggled with a hamstring injury throughout training camp.
There was no point during August at which either player appeared likely to make the team. But back in March, when the Giants were averaging a free-agent signing per day, the team envisioned significant roles for both.
The Giants will get back the services of Jon Beason, however, as the linebacker was activated from the PUP list.
Manningham, whose brilliant sideline catch in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLVI against the Patriots will live as an all-time great Giants moment, never appeared fully over the knee problems that have hounded him for the past couple of seasons. The Giants needed to see a big game from him Thursday in order to put him on the team, and he was injured and out of the game after just four plays. After playing just 18 games over the past two seasons and now missing all of 2014, there's a chance Manningham's career could be over at 28.
Holliday was signed to help the Giants' return game, specifically punt returns but also to help Quintin Demps
@DanGrazianoESPN: In theory, sure, but therein lies the problem. It's not as though the New York Giants have Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin sitting on the bench. If you bump Rueben Randle down the depth chart, who takes his place? The Giants' ideal plan at wide receiver is to start Victor Cruz in the slot with Randle and rookie Odell Beckham Jr. on the outside. But Beckham hasn't been able to practice because of a hamstring injury and they've been using miscast slot receiver Jerrel Jernigan on the outside in his place. As good as Corey Washington looked in the fourth quarters of preseason games, there's little to indicate he's a better option right now in real games than Randle is. They don't have a lot of options at wide receiver right now, which means they really need Randle to perform to his draft position if the offense is going to work.
@DanGrazianoESPN: Yeah, this is a key thing to remember here. All of this talk about Randle and Eli Manning "not being on the same page" is all about Randle, not about Manning. One of these guys has a 10-year track record of NFL success. The other has a two-year track record as an underachiever who doesn't know which route he's supposed to run. It's on Randle to figure out what he's supposed to be doing out there from play to play. I'm not absolving Manning of responsibility for what went wrong last year and how bad they looked this preseason, but by now it's pretty clear that the main problem is the group around him. Manning's not the type of quarterback who's going to elevate the substandard talent around him to quality-contender status. He's shown he can elevate good talent to a championship level over a period of a few weeks or months. But if the players around him at wide receiver, tight end and on the offensive line aren't of NFL-contender quality, I don't think he's going to be able to overcome that. Randle has to develop into a dependable, NFL-quality route-runner. Many others have since Manning has been here, and if Randle doesn't, it's on Randle.
@DanGrazianoESPN: I think the Giants could have a good defense this year. But if they turn out to be a truly bad offensive team, as they were last year, I don't think they're going to have the type of dominant defense they'd need to overcome that. I still think there are questions up front. A big season from Jason Pierre-Paul could help answer those, but it would be a big leap for this pass rush to go from where it was last year to one of the better ones in the league. And if it isn't, I don't think the work they did in the secondary is automatically going to fix everything. The secondary looks good on paper, but I think it's a mistake to assume Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is the lock-down cornerback they're expecting him to be for all 16 games. He's got the talent to be that kind of player, but he's been inconsistent throughout his career. Again, good defense, but not a carry-a-lousy-offense-to-the-playoffs defense. The offense is going to have to do its part.
Can the Giants defense keep them competitive enough to make the playoffs ? #nygmail— Blai (@BlaiGuy) August 29, 2014
@DanGrazianoESPN: I dispute your premise, as I doubt that Ben McAdoo's offense requires a mobile quarterback to operate. I also think Manning moves in the pocket well enough to do what they're asking him to do in terms of timing and footwork, and I don't think that's behind whatever issues have arisen during the preseason. For me, this boils down very simply to personnel, and I think the Giants' offensive personnel around Manning is substandard. Guys such as Randle, Beckham, Will Beatty and the tight ends are going to have to outperform expectations in order for this offense to do better than it did in the preseason. It's not the scheme, it's the players. We will see whether they handle their business better once the lights go on than they have so far. Enjoy the rest of your Saturday. I'll be back later with the final cuts.
Coughlin said it's possible they could or should have stressed the passing game more in the preseason, and he said he expects things will look better "once we zoom in on an all-encompassing game plan."
Other notes from Coughlin's day-after conference call:
- He said the timetable on guard Geoff Schwartz's recovery from toe injury is likely to be a bit longer than 3-to-4 weeks. He didn't rule out placing Schwartz on short-term injured reserve, which would keep him out for the first eight weeks of the season, but it sounds as though they hope they don't have to do that.
- Coughlin said middle linebacker Jon Beason should be cleared to practice Monday. That likely makes Beason available for the regular-season opener Sept. 8 in Detroit, though it remains to be seen how much he'll be able to play after missing all of training camp with a foot injury.
- Fullback Henry Hynoski has a "contusion" of his shoulder and felt better Friday than he did after leaving the game Thursday. Sounds as though they have avoided a major problem with Hynoski.
- Wide receiver Mario Manningham has a strained calf. This likely means the end for Manningham with the Giants, though Coughlin wasn't giving anything away about final decisions on that or any other aspect of the final roster cuts due Saturday.
The Giants will practice four more times before their Sept. 8 "Monday Night Football" opener against the Lions in Detroit. They don't have much time to be a work in progress if they want to avoid losing games in September.
"Don't get me wrong. We're ready for Week 1," Manning insisted. "But as a season goes on, you're always looking to improve. You don't want to alarm people and say, 'We've got to get better.' That's just part of it. We're going to keep getting better, but we still can go out there and be successful and do the things to win games but still strive to make improvements on offense."
Manning pointed to some positives he said he saw in the preseason, including a relative lack of turnovers and the fact that they won all five of their games. He said new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, who's calling plays for the first time in his career, has been "decisive" with it and the process has been smooth, and he's looking forward to a real regular-season week of game-planning for the Lions. His hope and belief is that everything will look better now that the games count.
In other Giants news:
- Cornerback Prince Amukamara said he's fully healed from his groin injury and expects to practice next week without restriction. Amukamara said he could have played Thursday night if it had been a real game.
- Guard Geoff Schwartz is a candidate for the short-term injured reserve list, which would cost him the first eight weeks of the season. Schwartz said Friday that he hoped to be back sooner than that, and that the team hadn't broached the topic with him. In order to use the short-term IR designation on Schwartz, the Giants would have to put him on their 53-man roster Saturday and then designate him for IR early next week. So unless they believe he'll be out for the whole season (which they do not) , the Giants will delay the decision on Schwartz.
- Kick return specialist Trindon Holliday, who has missed almost all of camp with a hamstring injury, said he believes he'll be ready to practice next week. The question is whether the Giants will put Holliday on the 53-man roster Saturday, or whether they'll cut him and look at other options. Holliday and Odell Beckham Jr., who also has missed all of camp with a hamstring injury, are the top two candidates at punt returner, so if the Giants believe they have a need there they could cut Holliday and keep someone like wide receiver Preston Parker for punt returns. But if they really believe Holliday is healthy enough to practice next week, they could keep him and use someone like Rueben Randle as the fallback on punt returns.
- Fullback Henry Hynoski (shoulder) and guard Eric Herman (leg) went for tests on their injuries from Thursday night. The team does not think Hynoski's injury is serious. They don't think Herman's is, either, but Herman is suspended for the first four games of the season for a drug violation anyway, so he has plenty of time to get healthy.
Curtis Painter for the backup quarterback job, and he clearly did. Not that they don't like Painter, but they didn't like carrying three quarterbacks last year and they won't do it again.
RUNNING BACKS (3)
Either Kendall Gaskins or Michael Cox could make it as a fourth running back, and I think the Giants would prefer to carry four. But the injury situation on the offensive line likely means they have to carry an extra player there, and this is the spot they have to take from.
Henry Hynoski has this spot locked up if he's healthy, but the shoulder injury that knocked him out of Thursday night's preseason finale could give it to Conner, who's stuck around all camp as a strong fallback option.
WIDE RECEIVERS (6)
Parker makes the team as the sixth wideout because (a) Marcus Harris is on IR, (b) Mario Manningham didn't show enough to make it and (c) he can return punts, and right now Beckham and Trindon Holliday can't because they have hamstring injuries. Holliday's lack of training camp practice time likely knocked him right off the team.
TIGHT ENDS (4)
I believe they will keep and use all four of these guys, though they'll have to rotate them in and out depending on situations. None has emerged as the do-it-all tight end they were hoping they'd find in camp.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (10)
- J.D. Walton
- Weston Richburg
- Will Beatty
- Justin Pugh
- Charles Brown
- Brandon Mosley
- John Jerry
- James Brewer
- Dallas Reynolds
- Rogers Gaines
DEFENSIVE LINE (9)
- Jason Pierre-Paul
- Mathias Kiwanuka
- Robert Ayers
- Markus Kuhn
- Mike Patterson
- Johnathan Hankins
- Jay Bromley
- Damontre Moore
- Cullen Jenkins
Kuhn's leg injury, should it linger, could open up a spot for a defensive end such as Kerry Wynn to make the team. Bromley has looked surprisingly good in games so far and could slide in for Kuhn in the defensive tackle rotation for the short term.
It sounds as though Beason will be ready to start the season, which makes you wonder whether they might keep only five. If they do, the final cut is either Paysinger or Herzlich, who missed Thursday's preseason finale with a shoulder injury.
It helps the numbers that Jayron Hosley will be suspended for the first four games of the regular season for a drug violation. If he does make the team, the Giants will have to clear a spot for him in Week 5. This group could also swell if the Giants decide they need to keep sixth-round pick Bennett Jackson for special teams. It's going to be tough to make the Giants' roster as a corner this summer, though Amukamara's groin injury could result in a short-term spot opening.
Cooper Taylor's toe injury landed him on injured reserve. That's unfortunate for Taylor, but it helps Berhe and likely helps someone at another position, such as Adrien Robinson at tight end. The Giants like to have a balanced roster -- 25 offensive players, 25 defensive and three specialists -- but that's not a requirement.
Sure things, all.
The 28-year-old wide receiver was on the field for just four plays before leaving with a left calf injury.
Asked if he had done enough to make the final 53-man roster, Manningham responded, “I don’t know. We’ll see.”
Manningham said he heard something pop during warmups, but didn’t think it was anything serious. Manningham added that it had nothing to do with his surgically-repaired left knee. “I’ll be all right,” he said. “But it was really frustrating being that this was the last preseason game.”
With younger wideouts Corey Washington and Preston Parker, whom can both contribute on special teams, impressing during the preseason, Manningham needed to do something special on Thursday. But it didn’t happen.
The Giants had signed Manningham to a one-year contract back in March hoping that he could revert back to being the type of impact player he was during his first stint with the team.
Manningham gained a spot in Giants’ lore forever with his 38-yard sideline catch late in the fourth quarter of Super XLVI that helped set up the championship-winning touchdown.
Manningham left for San Francisco in the offseason, but tore the ACL and PCL in his left knee on Dec. 23, 2012. He hasn’t been the same player since.
- Head coach Tom Coughlin said fullback Henry Hynoski suffered some sort of rotator cuff injury but didn’t have any further details because he hadn’t seen the doctor’s report yet. Offensive lineman Eric Herman, who is suspended the first four games of the regular season, got rolled up on and was seen coming out of the X-ray room after the game.
"If they wanted to play more," the head coach of the New York Giants said, "they should have made some first downs."
After an offseason that brought a new offensive coordinator, a new system and at least six new starters on the offensive side of the ball, the preseason ended with a creepy feeling that very little has been solved. Coughlin locked in Thursday night on a first-quarter Manning incomplete pass intended for Rueben Randle.
"Again, the missed connection between Rueben Randle and Eli," Coughlin said. "'I thought this, he thought that...' Everybody in this room is tired of hearing that stuff. There's no place for that."
That was supposed to be last-year stuff. And the source of Coughlin's frustration is that these five preseason games -- as well as the practices that surrounded them -- did little to convince anyone that the last-year stuff had been left in 2013. The pass protection is still a question mark, Manning's not on the same page as his receivers, and now there are no more exhibition games left and only 10 days until the first game that counts.
"There are things we've got to improve on," Manning shrugged. "But that's why we have another week of practice."
The Giants don't sound worried, and maybe that's because worry isn't going to do them any good at this point. The season's going to start whether they're ready or not, and it's going to start without anyone convinced the offense is going to click right away. Just because they haven't proven anything on the field that would give them confidence doesn't mean they can afford to go into the season without it.
"You have to have confidence," Coughlin said. "We've had preseasons before where we haven't had a lot of numbers with our first offense. Hopefully, we can carry over."
There's a lot of hope around these parts. A lot of relatively blind faith in the ability of these players to perform better in the real games than they did in the fake ones. The one encouraging thing is that the Giants' belief in themselves seems sincere. They do not appear discouraged.
"It was the right route. It just wasn't timed right," Randle said of the play that angered his coach. "I guess he was expecting me to run it quicker since it was press. I'm pretty sure, with something simple like that, we can get it fixed. Not that big of a deal."
The regular season will offer the Giants a chance to prove that their brave preseason talk has been accurate. And it'll do that soon. Rookie offensive lineman Weston Richburg, pressed into duty this week as the starting left guard in place of the injured Geoff Schwartz, might have summed it all up when asked if he was ready to handle that job.
"I don't have a choice," Richburg said.
Ready or not, here the season comes. The Giants believe they're ready, even if they haven't proven it.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Five preseason games weren't enough for Eli Manning and the New York Giants' passing game to show anything, and they will go into the regular season still wondering about the state of their offense.
Manning was 1-for-4 in two series in Thursday's 16-13 victory over the Patriots. The Giants finished the preseason 5-0, but Manning finished the preseason 20-for-41 for 188 yards and one touchdown across the five games. The Giants have looked all right at times running the ball this summer, but overall the passing game has looked well out of sync and the new Ben McAdoo offense continues to look like a work in progress.
Here are some other thoughts on the Giants' final preseason game of the year:
- This game was wide receiver Mario Manningham's last chance to show he belonged on the roster after a disappointing preseason. Unfortunately for Manningham, he played only four plays before injuring his calf muscle. It's hard to imagine him and his creaky legs on the final roster.
- Henry Hynoski, however, was looking like a good bet to win the fullback job. But he had to leave Thursday's game with a shoulder injury. It's unclear how serious it is at this point, but Hynoski missed the bulk of the 2013 season with a shoulder injury, so it's a legitimate concern. John Conner would be his replacement.
- Preston Parker looks to be in line for one of those wide receiver spots with Manningham likely out of the picture and Marcus Harris already on injured reserve. Parker is helped by his ability as a return man, especially with Odell Beckham Jr. and Trindon Holliday out with hamstring injuries. Parker was the primary punt returner Thursday and even lined up to return a couple of kickoffs. It didn't help him, though, that he muffed a punt in the fourth quarter.
- Weston Richburg and John Jerry started at left guard and right guard, respectively, in place of the injured Geoff Schwartz and Brandon Mosley. Both played deep into the second half, long after the starting tackles and center J.D. Walton left the game. It's possible both will have to start the regular-season opener Sept. 8 in Detroit.
- Early-game defensive standouts included Jason Pierre-Paul, who batted down Jimmy Garoppolo's pass intended for new tight end Tim Wright on the game's first play, Stevie Brown, who tackled running back James White behind the line of scrimmage, and Zack Bowman, who would have had two interceptions if the first hadn't been called back for an illegal contact penalty.
- Tight end Adrien Robinson fumbled a ball away after a 17-yard reception at the end of the third quarter, underlining the troubling fact that neither he nor anyone else has separated himself from the uninspiring pack at tight end. Kellen Davis started the game Thursday, and Daniel Fells and Larry Donnell each had his moments, but the Giants are going to have to rotate these guys.
1. How will Eli Manning look in his final tune-up? Starting quarterbacks in the NFL typically play in three preseason games. This will be Manning's fifth of this preseason, and the main reason is that he and the first-team offense haven't looked sharp in any of the first four. The Giants' first-team offense has run the ball well in spurts, but the passing game has looked a mess except for the final drive of the first half of Friday's game against the Jets. Manning, his receivers and his pass protection will want to show in the first couple of drives against the Patriots that they're in sync to an extent they have not been throughout this training camp and preseason.
2. Can the offensive line keep Manning clean? The pass protection has been a major issue in every game thus far. Left tackle Will Beatty has looked very shaky in his first two games and will try to show he's knocked the rust off after an offseason spent rehabbing a broken leg. Rookie Weston Richburg replaces the injured Geoff Schwartz at left guard while John Jerry replaces the injured Brandon Mosley at right guard. The offensive line continues to be a trouble spot loaded with question marks, and the extent to which this new group of five can play together and keep the Patriots' pass rush away from Manning will determine a lot about how the Giants' offense looks.
3. Final decisions at wide receiver. The Giants are looking for playmakers at the wide receiver position. Fourth-quarter preseason star Corey Washington could get a chance to show what he can do earlier in the game. Veteran Mario Manningham has this one final chance to prove he's healthy and explosive enough on the outside to merit a roster spot. Jerrel Jernigan has been coasting through camp as a guy who assumes he has a roster spot locked up, but the Giants would very much like to see him perform the way he did last December, even for one drive. Lots still to sort out at these positions with a week and a half to go.
Complete Giants season preview.