Apr 112018
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (August 26, 2017)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS PRESEASON OPPONENTS ANNOUNCED…
The 2018 preseason opponents for the New York Giants have been announced. Specific times have not yet been released.

  • August 9-13: Cleveland Browns
  • August 16-20: at Detroit Lions
  • August 23-26: at New York Jets
  • Thursday, August 30: New England Patriots

The team’s 2018 regular-season opponents are listed in the Schedule section of the website.

ARTICLES…

Apr 022018
 
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Geno Smith, New York Giants (August 11, 2017)

Geno Smith – © USA TODAY Sports Images

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS SIGN GENO SMITH…
The Los Angeles Chargers have signed New York Giants unrestricted free agent quarterback Geno Smith, who visited both the Rams and Seattle Seahawks last week, to a 1-year contract. The Giants signed  Smith as an unrestricted free agent in March 2017. He remained the team’s primary back-up until the season finale. Smith started Week 13 and played decently, completing 21-of-34 passes for 212 yards and a touchdown. But he also fumbled the ball away twice.

Smith was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. Smith has started 31 regular-seasons games, with 29 of those starts coming in 2013-2014. He lost his starting job to Ryan Fitzpatrick in August 2015 after his jaw was broken by a teammate. Smith started one game in 2016 but tore the ACL in his right knee in that game. Smith has completed 57.9 percent of his passes for 6,174 yards, 29 touchdowns, and 36 interceptions.

For a review of comings and goings in free agency, see the New York Giants 2018 Free Agency Scorecard section of the website.

ARTICLE…

Mar 272018
 
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Odell Beckham, Jr., New York Giants (February 18, 2018)

Odell Beckham, Jr. – © USA TODAY Sports

AS OBJ TRADE RUMORS PERSIST, PAT SHURMUR AND DAVE GETTLEMAN ADDRESS MEDIA…
Conflicting media sources are reporting that the New York Giants are and are not fielding trade offers for Odell Beckham, Jr., the supremely-talented wide receiver who also has a knack for generating off-the-field controversy. Beckham is entering the last year of his rookie contract with $8,459,000 in salary. There have been unverified reports that Beckham intends to holdout until he receives an extremely lucrative contract extension.

The NFL Network is reporting that while the Giants are listening to offers from several teams, it is not clear that the Giants actually want to trade Beckham.

At the NFL Annual Meeting on Tuesday, Head Coach Pat Shurmur said he spoke with Beckham in California last week. “We just got an opportunity to sit down and talk,” Shurmur said. “I had a chance to share my thoughts on all topics Odell, other than football certainly, and it was a good visit. He showed me his favorite restaurants in town and we just got a chance to get to know one another. He’s a very charismatic guy, I think he really cares and I’m looking forward to working with him… We all understand this time of year (due to League rules) you can’t talk football, but there was a good meeting and I felt like I got to know him a little better. Again, the only way you get to know somebody is by visiting with them, and I got a good sense or a little better sense of who he is.

“I’ve got a good radar on people. I’ve got a good radar on what’s going on this morning here. I think that’s why it’s important as coaches and players and anybody that is working together that you get a chance to visit and get to know one another. I really don’t think you can know somebody by just seeing reports, reading reports, hearing what people think and say. I think it’s really important, especially in the player-coach relationship, that I get to know him.

“I think we always want weapons. Obviously, he’s been an outstanding player, especially the first three years. So certainly, we want really, really good players. We want guys that are passionate about playing the game, we want guys that understand the importance of relationships, which means they want to be coached, and we want guys that understand that it is important to be a good teammate. Those are the things that we are looking for in a player.”

The Giants’ offseason program begins on April 9th.

“It’s my understanding that he will be there,” Shurmur said. “We couldn’t talk about that, but I’m looking forward to seeing him when we get going.”

Beckham is coming off a serious ankle injury that he suffered last October and which required surgery.

“I think he is on track coming back from his injury,” said Shurmur. “All reports are he will be ready to go at some point here in the training… Ready to go as we get going, so there are steps he’s got to take, but all indications are he will be back healthy by the time we start playing in September.”

General Manager Dave Gettleman also addressed the media at the NFL Annual Meeting on Tuesday.

“I just want to make a couple comments and, please, I’m not talking down on anybody,” Gettleman said. “There are 53 guys on every active NFL roster. Football is the ultimate team game – 11 guys go out there, they blow the whistle, if you’re the defense and 10 guys do it right and one guy does it wrong, you’re looking at a touchdown. Same thing on the other side of the ball, and same thing on special teams. It is the ultimate team game.

“Every decision we make will be in the best interest of the New York Football Giants. I want you guys to understand something, I’m not going to discuss any aspects of contracts, I’m not going to talk timelines, I’m not going to talk progress. I’m not going there. I didn’t do it in Carolina and I ain’t doing it up here, plain and simple. One of the most important responsibilities that any GM has is to eliminate internal and external distractions. It’s my responsibility to create the atmosphere that allows players to play and coaches to coach. That is part of my job, and I really believe that. The other thing that I want you to understand is I’m not going to respond to hypotheticals, I’m telling you right now.

“So you’re sitting there saying, ‘Well, what is Dave doing? What is he talking about?’’ In the past two days there have been two reports about Odell that have been floated – that he won’t take the field without an extension, and the Rams are interested in trading for him. I understand the reports, people are going to print stuff, I get it. But, I want you to understand this – neither Odell nor his agent have contacted us regarding either report. So to be clear – I’m not going to respond to questions about either report, and as I stated earlier, every decision I make is going to be made in the best interest of the New York Football Giants. So, with that being said, let’s talk football.”

Gettleman was asked about a controversial video of Beckham that circulated recently on social media.

“What was your response to it?” Gettleman said. “It came out, it’s a video, I’m an old man and have bad eyes, I see this seven-second thing flashing in front of my face. All I saw was the pizza.”

Gettleman was then asked if he wants Beckham on his team.

“I’m not going there,” Gettleman responded and later added, “The bottom line is, Ernie (Accorsi) taught me this and I told you guys this, you don’t quit on talent. He’s on our team… The kid works his fanny off. His rehab is going terrific. He sends us pictures and video. He’ll send us a video of him running. He is an excellent worker.”

Some other issues addressed by Shurmur:

  • On if the Giants are rebuilding: “I don’t think that is the case. Dave and I have spoken about this and we really believe this, we want to make our team better one move at a time. I think that’s what we’re trying to do. I don’t believe that narrative that it’s a reboot, that it’s a rebuild. We’re trying to make this year’s New York Football Giants. I like saying that, New York Football Giants. The New York Football Giants (will be) as good as we can be going into September, and then we will continue to make moves as we go. This is not kind of a within boundaries-type deal when you shape the roster. It is constantly happening, and we’re going to constantly try to improve our roster. It is obviously on the front burner this time of year.”
  • On Eli Manning: “I’ve seen Eli in the building almost every day in the offseason. He’s the fittest, healthiest 37-year old I’ve been around, so I’m looking forward to working with him as well, as well as Davis Webb. I saw some good play (from Manning last year). I think, and we’ve spoken about this, there are some plays on there that can’t happen. But there is a lot of good quarterback play on there. And I think all things New York Football Giants, the guys that are going to be here that were here a year ago have got to play better, and we’re going to add some pieces that we think will help us. And I think Eli is no different. Certainly he is probably near the back part of his career than the front part, just because of age. I know that. But he has been very durable. We can all talk about quarterbacks or point to quarterbacks, even that I’ve worked with, that have had a hard time staying on the field. Eli has stayed on the field. Your availability is huge when you’re talking about a player. That just doesn’t happen. He takes very good care of himself, he lives a clean life, he works out, he stays fit throughout the season, and I’m sure that’s part of it.”
  • On drafting Eli’s potential replacement: “I think we are always looking for a young, generational quarterback and I think there are a couple examples of that out there playing, a couple in our division. So, yeah, that’s the urge.”
  • On Davis Webb and the team’s voluntary mini-camp (April 24-26) held right before the NFL Draft (April 26-28): “It’ll be a great way for Davis to showcase what he can do. He’s going to get a lot of reps, and he probably would anyway. I don’t want to make this sound like it’s a showcase for Davis Webb, but as a guy that we’re interested in seeing, he’s certainly going to get his fair share of the reps… I think we’re going to take in any information we can all the way up to the time we’re on the clock… I went back and watched his college film to compare him to the guys coming out this year. I went back and revisited my notes from a year ago and we had him rated highly. The unfortunate thing for me is that there’s just not a lot of him playing football in a Giants helmet, which would have been a good thing for me to see moving forward. That is what it is… There is no substitute for experience and even though he was here and didn’t play a bunch, he became experienced in ways that you can’t if you haven’t been there. I’ve got high hopes for him being a productive player in this league. It’s a little bit of an unknown. The advantage we will have though is we get that extra mini-camp right up to the draft.”
  • On Penn State RB Saquon Barkley: “He’s equally impressive like the quarterbacks we just talked about. When you watch his tape, you don’t see anything that he can’t do. As a running back, certainly he’s got to do the obvious, be able to run the ball and secure the ball and he’s done that and put the ball in the end zone, which he’s done. He’s really a pretty good pass protector in terms of protecting the quarterback; that’s an important piece, and then he can catch the football as well. He can do everything that you’re looking for in a running back, and he’s a terrific human being, as well. We got to spend some time at the combine, our people have been to see him and I’m certainly going to get to know more about him as we go, as well.”
  • On Notre Dame OG Quinton Nelson: “He is an outstanding player. They do a good job at Notre Dame developing their offensive linemen and he’s a local guy of sorts. That really shouldn’t matter, but the fact that he is local, we had a couple exposures with him and he’s wired the right way to play the position, and we certainly like him a great deal.”
  • On Ereck Flowers, who is being moved to right tackle: “I’ve actually had a couple (conversations with Flowers). The one that was reported was the one right after we signed Nate. It’s been good. I expressed to him that I knew he was a little bit hurt and he played all year. I think that’s an important piece. I kind of embraced him by saying I think he’s a tough guy, but I also told him that we brought in a guy that’s going to play left tackle and we want him to move over to right and compete to be a player there, and we’re hopeful that he is going to be one of our best five (linemen).”
  • On CB Eli Apple, who had both off-field and on-field issues in 2017: “We’re looking forward to working with Eli. It’s a clean slate. I think that’s safe to say. As we get to know everybody, it’s a clean slate. Again, we’re going to try to develop relationships with the players from the very beginning, or as soon as we can visit with them and try to work with them to be the best they can be. I think when you have sometimes younger players that are thrust into an NFL setting in a big town with a lot of attention, we’ve got to be willing to work with them in all areas of their game and their life, and Eli is a player that is no different than anybody else.”

Some other issues addressed by Gettleman:

  • On the team’s #2 pick: “Have we had calls (from teams seeking to trade for the pick)? Yes. But we haven’t set our board yet. It’s about when you’re drafting, when you’re signing unrestricted free agents, it’s all about value, it really, truly is… This is the second pick in the draft. We really have to picture this guy putting on a gold jacket because if we can’t picture that… I remember my very first year in the league when I was with the Bills, we had the third pick of the draft. Dick Roach, a hell of a DB coach, made the statement, ‘We’re not talking about, is this guy the third best player of this draft? Is this guy worthy of being the third pick of any draft?’ So that is the conversation that we are having. When we set the board and have our conversations, is that guy worthy of being the second pick in the draft? Can we picture him some day putting on a gold jacket?”
  • On if any quarterback taken with the #2 pick has to compare with with quarterbacks in other drafts: “You have to. It’s like when teams reach. (They say), ‘We need a defensive tackle.’ And they reach for a guy, and maybe he’s a really good two-down player, really good run player, and they’re hoping he’ll develop into a pass rusher. No, you can’t do that. You think about quarterbacks, the area code we’re picking in, does he make everybody else better? Is he the guy? Can he do what Eli did? Two minutes left in the Super Bowl and he takes that team down the field – boop. You’ve got to be able to picture that.”
  • On Penn State RB Saquon Barkley:  “It’s unusual, I’m telling you. He can string together moves and get in and out of stuff. It’s funny, I (evaluated) him right before I came down. He’s unique. No doubt about it. He’s big, he’s powerful, he can step on the gas, he’s got different levels of speed and he catches the heck out of the ball, and he sees the blitz pick-up stuff.”
  • On if the Giants are rebuilding: “It’s about winning. Someone told one of the reporters that I’m going to tear down. Let’s spend $62.5 million on Nate Solder, spending the money on Patrick Omameh, we’re not trading for Alec Ogletree if we’re in tear down, we’re not going that. It’s about we’ve evaluated the roster, we’ve developed a plan moving forward, it’s about winning now. Who wants to lose? I don’t.”

ARTICLES…

Mar 262018
 
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Michael Thomas, Miami Dolphins (September 17, 2017)

Michael Thomas – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS SIGN SAFETY MICHAEL THOMAS…
ESPN is reporting that the New York Giants have signed unrestricted free agent safety Michael Thomas (Miami Dolphins). The 28-year old, 5’11”, 195-pound Thomas was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the San Francisco 49ers after the 2012 NFL Draft. After spending most of two seasons on the 49ers’ Practice Squad, Thomas was signed to the 53-man roster of the Dolphins in December 2013. In five seasons in Miami, Thomas has played in 56 games with 25 starts. In 2017, Thomas played in 13 games with two starts and finished the season with 27 tackles and one pass defense. He was placed on Injured Reserve in December 2017 with a knee injury. Thomas is a versatile player who has experience both at both safety spots and nickel corner. Thomas doesn’t make many plays on the football with only six career pass defenses and one interception. But he is a very good special teams player (55 special teams tackles in four years) who was also captain of the special teams in Miami.

ARTICLES…

Mar 102018
 
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Brad Wing, New York Giants (December 17, 2017)

Brad Wing – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS CUT PUNTER BRAD WING…
The New York Giants have terminated the contract of punter Brad Wing, who had signed a three-year, $6.45 million extension in July 2016. Wing had two years left on his contract with base salaries of $1.35 million in 2018 and $1.45 million in 2019. He would have counted $2.025 million against the 2018 salary cap. By cutting him the Giants “saved” about $1.025 million in cap space with $1 million in dead money.

After a strong 2016 campaign punter Wing struggled in 2017, with poor performances being a factor in a few defeats. Wing saw his gross punting average fall from 46.2 to 44.1 and his net punting average drop from 40.9 to 36.7, which was the worst in football. His number of punts inside the 20 also fell from 28 to 19. Wing had two punts blocked. It was a precipitous drop for a player who had been named “NFC Special Teams Player of the Week” twice in 2016.

An Australian, the left-footed Wing was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Philadelphia Eagles after the 2013 NFL Draft. He did not make the team but he made the Pittsburgh Steelers roster in 2014. The Giants acquired Wing from the Steelers by trade for a conditional 7th-round draft pick in September 2015. Until 2017, Wing combined a strong leg with good directional placement skills. He also was the Giants holder for both field goals and place kicks.

The Giants signed punter Austin Rehkow to a reserve/futures contract in January 2018. Rehkow was signed by the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft. The Bills waived him in August. He punted twice in the preseason, averaging 44.5 yards per punt.

REPORTS – DOMINIQUE RODGERS-CROMARTIE STAYING AT CORNERBACK…
ESPN and The New York Post are both reporting that their sources say the earlier NFL Network report about the New York Giants moving cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (DRC) to safety is not true. Apparently no such decision has been made.

Meanwhile, The NFL Network is now reporting that the Giants have asked DRC to “take a signficant pay cut” from the $6.48 million in base salary he is currently due to make in 2018 (his overall 2018 cap number is $8.5 million). Supposedly no agreement has been reached and both sides are “far apart.”

GRAHAM GANO RE-SIGNS WITH PANTHERS…
The Carolina Panthers re-signed place kicker Graham Gano on March 6 to a reported 4-year, $17 million deal. There had been media reports that the Giants were expected to pursue Gano if he hit the open market on March 12th. The 30-year old Gano made the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career last season after he converted on 29-of-30 field goal attempts (96.7 percent).

ARTICLES

Feb 212018
 
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John Greco, New York Giants (December 24, 2017)

John Greco – © USA TODAY

NEW YORK GIANTS RE-SIGN GUARD JOHN GRECO…
The New York Giants have re-signed offensive guard John Greco. The 32-year old, 6’4”, 318-pound Greco was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams. He has spent time with the Rams (2008-2010), Cleveland Browns (2011-2016), and New Orleans Saints (2017). The Giants signed Greco in November 2017; he played in six games with no starts. Greco has started 70 of the 117 regular-season games he has played in, including starts at right guard (45), left guard (24), and center (1).

NEW YORK GIANTS CUT LINEBACKER ISHAQ WILLIAMS…
The New York Giants waived/injured linebacker Ishaq Williams on February 15. The Giants originally signed Williams after he impressed as a tryout player during the May 2016 mini-camp. Williams had been out of football since 2013 after being implicated in an academic dishonesty scandal at Notre Dame. Williams was signed to the Practice Squad in September 2016 and the 53-man roster in December 2016. He did not play in any games. Williams was injured/waived and then placed on Injured Reserve in May 2017 (where he spent the entire season) after needing knee surgery.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Exclusive Giants.com interviews with the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • DE Romeo Okwara (Video)

ARTICLES…

Feb 102018
 
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Kevin Stefanski, Minnesota Vikings (August 9, 2015)

Kevin Stefanski – © USA TODAY

REPORT – VIKINGS DENY GIANTS PERMISSION TO INTERVIEW KEVIN STEFANSKI…
ESPN is reporting that the Minnesota Vikings have denied the New York Giants permission to interview Vikings quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski. The Giants were interested in Stefanski as the team’s new offensive coordinator. The 35-year old Stefanski has served in various assistant coaching capacities for the Vikings since 2006.

Media speculation is that the Giants may now turn to former Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell or Philadelphia Eagles running backs coach Duce Staley. However, the Eagles could also deny Staley permission to interview with the Giants.

REPORT – DAVE GETTLEMAN HIRES DRAFT CONSULTANT…
The New York Post is reporting that New York Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman has hired Mark Koncz as a scouting department consultant. Koncz worked with Gettleman with the Carolina Panthers as director of pro scouting, a position that Koncz had held since 2000. Gettleman promoted him to director of player personnel in May 2017 before the Panthers fired Koncz in July after Gettleman was also let go.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Exclusive Giants.com interviews with the following players are available at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

Feb 052018
 
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Steve Tisch, Pat Shurmur, and John Mara; New York Giants (January 26, 2018)

Steve Tisch, Pat Shurmur, and John Mara – © USA TODAY Sports

REPORT – GIANTS HIRE TWO MORE ASSISTANT COACHES…
The Sporting News is reporting that the New York Giants are hiring Ben Wilkerson as assistant offensive line coach and Deshea Townsend as assistant defensive backs coach. Wilkerson will work under new offensive line coach Hal Hunter while Townsend will work under new defensive backs coach Lou Anarumo.

Ben Wilkerson:

  • 2018-Present: Assistant Offensive Line Coach, New York Giants
  • 2015-2017: Assistant Offensive Line Coach, Chicago Bears
  • 2014: Assistant Football and Track Coach, North Shore Senior High School (Texas)
  • 2012-2013: Offensive Line Coach, Grambling State University
  • 2011: Offensive Administrative Intern, Louisiana State University
  • 2010: Offensive Graduate Assistant, Louisiana State University
  • Pro Experience: Offensive Lineman, Cincinnati Bengals (2005-2006), Atlanta Falcons (2007-2008), Florida Tuckers (2009)
  • Collegiate Experience: Offensive Lineman, Louisiana State University (2001-2004)
  • Born November 22, 1982

Deshea Townsend:

  • 2018-Present: Assistant Defensive Backs Coach, New York Giants
  • 2016-2017: Defensive Backs Coach, Tennessee Titans
  • 2013-2015: Cornerbacks Coach, Mississippi State University
  • 2011-2012: Assistant Defensive Backs Coach, Arizona Cardinals
  • Pro Experience: Cornerback, Pittsburgh Steelers (1998-2009), Indianapolis Colts (2010)
  • Collegiate Experience: Defensive Back, University of Alabama (1994-1997)
  • Born September 8, 1975

Although not officially announced, the following assistant coaching positions now appear to be filled, while others remain to be determined:

ARTICLES…

Jan 302018
 
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Ereck Flowers, New York Giants (October 1, 2017)

Ereck Flowers – © USA TODAY Sports

REPORT – GIANTS HIRE HAL HUNTER AS OFFENSIVE LINE COACH…
The Sporting News is reporting that the New York Giants will hire Hal Hunter as the team’s new offensive line coach. The 58-year old Hunter was out of football in 2017. He last served as offensive line coach of the Indianapolis Colts in 2015 and Cleveland Browns in 2016.

  • 2018-Present: Offensive Line Coach, New York Giants
  • 2016: Offensive Line Coach, Cleveland Browns
  • 2015: Offensive Line Coach, Indianapolis Colts
  • 2013-2014: Assistant Offensive Line Coach, Indianapolis Colts
  • 2012: Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line Coach, San Diego Chargers
  • 2007-2011: Offensive Line Coach, San Diego Chargers
  • 2006: Assistant Offensive Line Coach, San Diego Chargers
  • 2002-2005: Offensive Line Coach, University of North Carolina
  • 2000-2001: Offensive Coordinator, Indiana University
  • 1999: Assistant Head Coach/Interim Head Coach, Louisiana State University
  • 1995-1998: Offensive Line Coach, Louisiana State University
  • 1994: Offensive Line Coach, Vanderbilt University
  • 1991-1993: Offensive Tackles/Tight Ends Coach, Vanderbilt University
  • 1987-1990: Offensive Line Coach, University of Akron
  • 1986: Offensive Line Coach, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • 1985: Offensive Line Coach, Columbia University
  • 1983-1984: Offensive Line Coach, University of Pittsburgh
  • 1982: Outside Linebackers Coach/Strength Coach, College of William and Mary
  • Pro Experience: None
  • Collegiate Experience: Linebacker, Northwestern University
  • Born July 8, 1959

Although not officially announced, the following assistant coaching positions now appear to be filled, while others remain to be determined:

ARTICLE…

Dec 152017
 
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Landon Collins, New York Giants (October 23, 2016)

Landon Collins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GIANTS SIGN RYAN MURPHY TO 53-MAN ROSTER…
The New York Giants signed safety Ryan Murphy to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad. Murphy Murphy was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks waived him in their final round of cuts in September 2015. He spent time on the Practice Squad of the Denver Broncos in both 2015 and 2016. The Giants signed Murphy to their Practice Squad in late December 2016 and again in September 2017.

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Safeties Landon Collins (ankle) and Nat Berhe (hamstring) did not practice on Friday. Berhe has been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles and Collins is “doubtful” for the contest.

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (hamstring), wide receiver Roger Lewis (ankle), wide receiver Travis Rudolph (hamstring), tight end Rhett Ellison (finger),  linebacker B.J. Goodson (ankle), and cornerback Brandon Dixon (heel/hamstring) practiced on a limited basis. Lewis, Rudolph, and Dixon are officially “questionable” for the game while the other players are “probable.”

Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (finger) and defensive tackle Damon Harrison (not injury related) fully practiced. Both are unofficially “probable” for the game.

INTERIM HEAD COACH STEVE SPAGNUOLO…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with Interim Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the New York Giants on Saturday. The Giants play the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium on Sunday afternoon.