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Darius Reynaud blindsided on return to work

Darius Reynaud #15 of the New York Giants

Darius Reynaud #15 of the New York Giants is tackled by Jonathan Wade #24 of the Detroit Lions at New Meadowlands Stadium on October 17, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Photo Credit: Getty

The most devastating hit is the one you don't see coming. Apparently, punt and kickoff return man Darius Reynaud was doing some serious vacationing during the Giants' bye week and was unaware they had picked up Will Blackmon, a veteran defensive back who also handled kick return duties for four seasons with Green Bay until blowing out his left ACL last season.

Reynaud showed up for the first practice back to work only to be greeted by a stranger wearing No. 30 and catching kickoffs next to him. "I just found out now," Reynaud told reporters of the roster move. "I didn't know until I saw him at practice…I saw him out there behind me catching kickoff returns. I can't worry about that. I just worry about what I'm doing. Whatever happens, happens."

Since coming in to replace injured Domenik Hixon, Reynaud has been a bit of a disappointment. His career numbers are down from 8.4 yards on punt returns to 5.9 with the Giants and from 20.5 on kickoff returns to 18.4. But the decline might not be all Reynaud's fault.

"He hasn't had an awful lot to work with, so, there's plenty [of blame] to be shared," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "A lot of work can be accomplished in that area."

Blackmon introduced himself to Reynaud during practice and had some kind words for a returner he saw in the past in the same division at Minnesota. "I have nothing but positive things to say about him," Blackmon said of Reynaud. "He does the hardest job well, and that's to catch the ball. There are a lot of guys who can run 4.2 or 4.3, but they can't get the ball. He's done a great job in terms of catching the ball and security. You can't find many guys who can do that."

Because of the Giants' injury situation, there's a chance both return men could remain on the active roster for games for another week. Blackmon is working as a utility back in the secondary, which is down a man because Bruce Johnson underwent arthroscopic knee surgery during the bye week. So, it's possible Blackmon could fill that role while Reynaud continues as the fifth wide receiver and both could get an opportunity to return kicks at Seattle.
 

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