Eli Manning will have only one backup this season.
Second-year quarterback Ryan Nassib earned the job and allowed the Giants to keep only two passers on their 53-man roster, which was Tom Coughlin's preference. They had only two quarterbacks from 2008-12 but kept Curtis Painter as well as the rookie Nassib last year. Painter's contract was terminated Saturday.
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"Ryan Nassib made big strides," Coughlin said. "I think that his third and fourth preseason games were outstanding. You see definite improvement. You see the work that he's put in. He's been a very good student and he's applied that to the field."
The coach said the way Nassib bounced back from a poor performance in the second preseason game and a demotion to third string impressed him. "He did have a poor preseason game and he came back with two good ones," Coughlin said. "That showed me he didn't do it by talking, he did it by working."
Coughlin said linebacker Jon Beason (toe) is expected to practice Monday. On Saturday, the team cleared the path for that return with some paperwork.
Beason was removed from the physically unable to perform list, allowing him to work with the rest of the team. He spent the entire preseason on the sideline recovering from a toe and foot injury he suffered in the spring.
"He's ready to practice," Coughlin said. "You need that kind of dynamic leadership. The guy loves the game, he loves to play it. He'll have the biggest smile on his face come Monday when he trots out there."
The Giants kept only three running backs and three tight ends, but fullback Henry Hynoski can play both of those positions in a pinch. Hynoski beat out John Conner for the lone fullback spot on the roster despite leaving Thursday's game early with a shoulder contusion. "Utmost respect for John Conner," Coughlin said. "I think he's a heck of a player and a great competitor and a good man. He doesn't say a word, just goes and does his job. Give me all of those you can find." . . . The Giants can announce their 10-man practice squad at noon Sunday. The practice squad has been increased from eight to 10 players this season. "That helps tremendously because the drain always comes," Coughlin said of injuries to the active players . . . After two days off, the Giants will have a brief practice Monday.