Owa Odighizuwa's rookie season is almost over. Almost.

The Giants placed the defensive end on injured reserve with a designation to return. He'll be eligible to practice with the team on Dec. 17 and eligible to return to the active roster on Dec. 31. The Giants' regular-season finale is on Jan. 3, and he could play in that game.

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Odighizuwa, a third-round pick, missed the last game with a hamstring injury. He missed the first three games with a foot injury. In the four games he played this season, he had three tackles.

"[We're] disappointed in the fact that we didn't get to consistently work with him," Tom Coughlin said. "The missed time definitely affects the young player, without a doubt, especially in that position. He needs more work."

Odighizuwa will continue to get that as he waits for his potential return, whether that comes this season or next.

"He'll be with us, he'll be right here, he'll be in the meeting rooms, he'll be on the field with the trainers trying to get himself to the position where he eventually can go again," Coughlin said. "But being around it is the thing that's important right now."

The Giants promoted tight end Jerome Cunningham to the 53-man roster to take Odighizuwa's place. Cunningham joins Will Tye as the only healthy, active players at the position. Starter Larry Donnell is not expected to play this week with a neck injury.