D.J. Johnson gone, Ballard elevated from practice squad
The Giants made a slight shuffle at the bottom of their roster today, waiving defensive back D.J. Johnson and replacing him on the 53 with tight end Jake Ballard from their practice squad. It doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but of course there is plenty for us to read into. Especially since the Giants were closely monitoring the health of two players this week who play those two positions.
What does the dismissal of Johnson say about the health of Corey Webster (toe)? Well, it probably means he’s good to go and will not have any issues with it on Sunday night. It also probably means that Will Blackmon has been caught up in the schemes on defense and can play if needed.
As for the tight end, the team had Kevin Boss sit out on Thursday with his sore back. And the only real backup for Boss as a tight end was Bear Pascoe, who is already playing as the backup fullback. He obviously can’t fill in for two injured players at once. So Ballard would be Boss’ backup in case he’s unable to complete the game. Ballard also gives the Giants an extra big blocker in case Shawn Andrews can’t go (or can’t finish) and they have to move Will Beatty to tackle.
It is interesting that Ballard is the second tight end elevated from the practice squad this year. The Giants started the season with only two tight ends on their 53. Now they have four.