John Fennelly, Lead Writer
Today is cutdown day 1.0 for NFL teams, meaning by 4 p.m. this afternoon, rosters must be pared down to 75 players. The Giants will have 13 roster decisions at the minimum today because they are only carrying 88 players.
Of those players, four are injured and will be added to injury lists. OT Will Beatty (pec) is expected to be moved to the regular season PUP list and three others will either be placed on IR or waived/injured.
S Nat Berhe (calf) and DB Bennett Jackson (knee) are not expected to play again this season, so they’ll likely end up on IR. It’s anyone’s guess the fate of CB Chykie Brown (knee).
Monday marked the return of S Stevie Brown, signed by the Giants after passing a physical. Wearing No. 39, he participated in team drills and, while not on the field, got a crash course on the new defense from safeties coach David Merritt.
Brown, released by the Texans after failing to win a starting position, is excited to be back with the Giants, where he played from 2012-14.
“They’re just talking about coming in and competing and being able to fit in where I can,” Brown said. “Definitely an opportunity.”
Meanwhile, after a strong showing in Saturday’s game vs the Jets, rookie Landon Collins and third-year safety Cooper Taylor lined up as the starting safeties at Monday’s practice.
The offensive line that will likely start the regular season was finally intact on Monday. Center Weston Richburg (knee) was back with the ones at center and Geoff Schwartz rejoined the starting five at RG. The constants have been Ereck Flowers at LT, Justin Pugh at LG and Marshall Newhouse at RT.
DE George Selvie (knee) returned on Monday after a two-week absence. LBs Mark Herzlich (concussion) and Jonathan Casillas (neck) were also back at practice, albeit on a limited basis.
But it wouldn’t be a day that ends in “y” if the Giants didn’t lose a defensive back to injury. Safety Jeromy Miles had to leave with a groin injury. No word on how severely Miles is injured.
Safety Stevie Brown is again a member of the New York Giants, returning to the team to help aid a depleted secondary that has lost two potential starters for the year while injuries hamper a handful of others.
After being released by the Texans, Brown had no second thoughts about where he wanted to end. The decision was easy.
“You know this is a good place — where I wanted to be once everything was set and done,” Brown said on Monday.
“I was just weighing out the options. It was no hard feeling towards here (or) anything like that. As you can tell, I am back now so we definitely left everything on good terms. It was just after weighing out all the options at the time, Houston seemed like a good fit.”
Brown left the Giants in free agency and headed to Houston at the end of April after receiving interest from upwards of six different NFL teams.
According to Brown, he wasn’t a fit with the Texans secondary. He asked for his release and he ended his tenure with the Texans on what he called “good terms.”
“We parted ways on good terms down there as well,” Brown said. “As for the release, it just wasn’t playing into the strengths that I have as a safety, so you know there (was) no point in being around there. …They were okay with it and they didn’t want to keep me there and, so I definitely appreciate them for doing that and let me go whenever I wanted to.”
With injuries up and down the Giants roster, particularly among defensive backs, Brown has a chance to challenge Brandon Meriweather and Jeromy Miles for the starting safety spot opposite 2015 second-round pick Landon Collins.
Brown is not familiar with Steve Spagnuolo’s defense, but believe he’ll assimilate quickly … perhaps even as early as Tuesday.
“I haven’t actually sat down and looked at the defense yet, but one thing about defense is, is that everybody plays a lot of similar coverages so it is just the techniques and the language that you have to learn,” Brown said.
“I like to think I can come around tomorrow. Realistically, it is going to take a few days — it is definitely going to take a few days. There is always a learning curve, but I will be good.”
Giants’ first cuts won’t be too deep
Some pre-cut notes….The Giants have 88 players on the active roster and one of those is LT Will Beatty (pec) who is on preseason PUP list and will be moved to regular season PUP this week. Whether that will be done in this round of cuts or on Saturday is still unknown. He will miss a minimum of six regular season games.
DE Jason Pierre-Paul is not on the roster at this time because he has not signed his franchise tender. Whether or not he is ready to play, it is likely he will be placed on NFI (non-football injury list) when he signs, therefore missing the first six games of the season.
Decisions still have to be made on CB Chykie Brown (knee), S Nat Berhe (calf) and DB Bennett Jackson (knee). Only one can be placed on short-term IR. I doubt they’d burn that on Brown and Jackson and Berhe are projected to be out for the entire season.
In short, the Giants will have about 8-9 actual cuts to make by Tuesday. – Fennelly
Victor Cruz was a scratch for the Giants’ third preseason game against the Jets.
In fact, Cruz has yet to be cleared for practiced since suffering a minor calf injury, which the receive said doctors are being extra caution with.
Cruz said the inflammation in the calf has gone down “substantially” and he’s working toward getting back to 100 percent. In fact, the wide receiver contends Week 1 is still the goal, despite the odds suggesting he won’t be able to practice this week or play at all in the preseason.
“I think I’ll be ready to go,” Cruz said Monday. “Hopefully come Week 1, I’m able to get on the practice field and run around a little bit. I know how Coach (Tom) Coughlin loves his guys to practice — if you don’t practice, you don’t play. So I want to be out here for practice come Week 1. And hopefully that’s the goal. We’ll see where it goes.”
Caution remains the theme of the preseason for Cruz, who is coming off a major injury in a tear to his patellar tendon. As soon as Cruz was cleared for “full” practices, he suffered yet another setback.
Now with the calf flare-up, Cruz is exercising his patience.
“Obviously, you go out and you understand coming off a major knee surgery — something that comes off of that, any injury after that—you want to be careful, you want to be cautious with it,” Cruz said. “I think that’s what we’re doing. We just want to make sure that it’s really back to 100 percent and strong and able to cut, and all those things before we try it out on the field.”
The past few weeks, Cruz has been unable to jog and has been limited to rest so the calf can heal. Cruz has tried to expedite the recovery process with lower-body workouts to try and stay in shape.
The veteran wide receiver is unlikely to return to practice this week, but Cruz remains unconcerned. His timetable isn’t for the fourth preseason game; it’s Week 1, which means he’s still on the right track.
“I’m still excited for Week 1—that’s still the goal, that’s still the plan, in my opinion,” Cruz explained. “Obviously, the training staff will advise if they see differently as the next week and a half comes along. But we’ll see. So, I’m just taking it one day at a time, and making sure that I’m ready to go.”
Giants DE Robert Ayers said on Monday that his ankle injury isn’t serious (Aug. 31).
Ayers suffered the injury prior to Saturday’s game, but wouldn’t explain how it happened.
“As far as what happened, that’s a tricky question that’d I’d rather not try to get into,” Ayers said. “But I’ll be alright. We’re going to manage everything and keep everything on the positive side and try to get better.”
Ayers, who didn’t practice on Monday, noted that he was taking things day by day.
Giants WR Victor Cruz has still not been cleared to practice (Aug. 31).
Cruz, who is working his way back from a calf injury, said that the inflammation has gone down and that the team is being cautious.
Cruz said the Giants don’t want him jogging yet, but noted that he’s still hopeful of being ready to play Week 1 (Aug. 31).
Cruz was recently sidelined due to the calf injury as he works back from knee surgery.
The Giants have signed S Stevie Brown, the team announced (Aug. 31).
Brown, who played with the Giants in both 2012 and 2014, was recently cut by the Texans.
Brown, 28, was at the Giants facility on Monday and weighed in on his return, saying he’s healthy and ready to hit the ground running (Aug. 31).
Brown dealt with a foot injury last season that resulted in surgery.
To make room on the roster for Brown, the Giants cut LB Victor Butler, who had been suspended for the first four games of the season (Aug. 31).
John Fennelly, Lead Writer
Brown is likely nowhere near what he was back in 2012 when he set NFL records for interception return yardage, but he will add depth and experience to the decimated defensive backfield. Let’s face it, he is as good, or better than most of the DBs they have.
With Jeromy Miles and rookie Landon Collins the current starters and Cooper Taylor, Brandon Merweather and Justin Halley the only other safeties, Brown could possibly find himself either starting or getting a good share of playing time.