Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie had some advice for Donte Deayon on Friday.
“I’m telling him he better get his legs ready because he’s going to be a big part of this defense,” Rodgers-Cromartie said.
Deayon did not make it through the cutdown to 53 on Saturday; he was waived after the Giants traded for veteran cornerback Ross Cockrell. But DRC’s counsel still applies. For the second year in a row, Deayon will return to the Giants as a member of the practice squad.
He and seven other Giants who were cut Saturday and cleared waivers were brought back as the bulk of the 10-man practice squad. The others are tackle and sixth-round draft pick Adam Bisnowaty, defensive end Jordan Williams, wide receiver Marquis Bundy, offensive lineman Jon Halapio, linebacker Curtis Grant, cornerback Tim Scott and safety Ryan Murphy. Williams, who played in one game for the Dolphins in 2015, is the only one of the group with any regular-season game experience.
Being in the building will be beneficial to Deayon, who would seem to be in line for a promotion to the active roster if the Giants have any injuries in their secondary. They go into this week with questions regarding Eli Apple (ankle) and Michael Hunter Jr. (concussion).
Deayon, who had six tackles and returned an interception for a 36-yard touchdown against the Jets this preseason, was minutes away from making the team outright before the trade was completed. If it were a 54-man roster, Deayon already would be a full-fledged Giant.
“We feel that we have more than 53 who can play,” Ben McAdoo said before the cuts.
Deayon likely is one of those.
“I think he’s ready,” Rodgers-Cromartie said. “He has the heart of a lion.”
One of the two remaining vacancies on the practice squad is expected to go to receiver Travis Rudolph, the popular player who made a strong impression on offense and special teams during the preseason. Rudolph is expected to sign a contract Monday after he returns from a trip to watch alma mater Florida State lose to Alabama on Saturday.
Beyond his play, Rudolph became a Giants fan favorite for his back story. A year ago, he became a viral sensation when he sat with a lonely autistic boy during lunch while visiting a middle school with his Florida State teammates. He left school early and went undrafted. Just before the draft, his father was killed in an accidental shooting.
The Giants traded a conditional seventh-round pick to the Steelers for Cockrell on Saturday, according to NFL transaction reports . . . Tight end Will Tye, picked up by the Jets, was the only player waived by the Giants on Saturday who was claimed by another team . . . The Giants were not awarded any players off waivers. Their high waiver position, 23rd, likely precluded any acquisitions.