Hurricane Irene is still playing with the Giants’ plans. This time, though, it’s helpful to them.
Because their game against the Jets was postponed for two days to accommodate the storm over the weekend, a move that is forcing the Giants to play two games in four days, the NFL has allowed the Giants (and the Jets) to keep 85 players for the fourth preseason game. Every other team was required to trim to 80 players by 4 p.m. today.
“To be able to play this game Thursday night with the additional players is very helpful,” Tom Coughlin said.
The Giants reached that point by shifting a few players to different categories and getting rid of only one player: Duke Calhoun, who made the team last year as an undrafted free agent receiver and special teamer, was waived/injured. He missed last night’s game against the Jets with a hamstring injury.
The other moves included putting rookie DT Marvin Austin on injured reserve, meaning he will officially go two full seasons without playing a meaningful game. Austin tore his pectoral muscle last week against the Bears.
The Giants also put WR Ramses Barden and C Adam Koets on reserve/PUP. Both players are recovering from surgery and have not been coming along fast enough to be able to contribute in the beginning of the season.
“They’re just not ready to go,” Coughlin said, “ so you have to make a most difficult decision … We spent an awful lot of time rehabbing these two players. Let’s hope that they can get themselves in position that, when needed, they’re ready to go.”
According to NFL rules, the earliest they can come back is the day after the sixth regular season weekend (the Tuesday after Week 6, since the Monday night games are technically part of the weekend). The Giants host Buffalo on Oct. 16 in Week 6.
Terrell Thomas was already on injured reserve. He had counted against the 90 before today, but no longer counts against the 85.
The Giants (and Jets) are required to trim to 80 by 4 p.m. on Friday. They must go all the way down to 53 by Saturday.