Leonard Williams is getting yet another tag, this time a non-football injury designation.
The defensive lineman who is playing 2020 under the franchise tag was relegated to the temporary injury list on Sunday after he reported to training camp with a sore hamstring. The injury was officially noted after Williams went through the team’s COVID-19 protocols and underwent his physical.
While the team goes through its acclimation process of conditioning and strength training, Williams will have to work on the side with trainers (and players such as Tae Crowder and Alex Tanney who have similar designations). Williams can be added to the active roster at any point in the preseason.
The injury is not believed to be serious and the NFL designation is more a matter of clerical work than cause for alarm at this point.
It is, however, yet another juke in Williams’ brief but tumultuous tenure with the Giants. The team traded for the would-be free agent midway through the 2019 season. Unable to reach a long-term contract deal with him, the Giants used the franchise tag to secure his rights. Last month, after a long-term deal could still not be reached, Williams signed the franchise tag tender. He is due to earn a guaranteed $16.12 million this season.
The Giants trimmed their roster to 80 players (with one roster exemption for international player Sandro Platzgummer of Austria) on Sunday, which will allow them to participate in on-field drills as one unit rather than split into two to ensure proper social distancing.
Rookie head coach Joe Judge has split the team into three workout groups for weightlifting and conditioning but most days end with full-squad walk-throughs, which would be prohibited with a 90-man roster.
At least one of the players who was trimmed to reach 80 left on his own accord. Wide receiver Da’Mari Scott informed the team he will opt out of the 2020 season. Scott is the second Giant to opt out after tackle Nate Solder announced on Wednesday he, too, will not play this year.
The other players who will not continue with the Giants include running back Jon Hilliman, linebacker Chris Peace, safety Rashaan Gaulden and cornerback Shakial Taylor, who was awarded to the Giants off waivers on Tuesday. Also waived were four rookie or first-year players, including quarterback Case Cookus of Northern Iowa, fullback George Aston of Pittsburgh, and linebackers Oluwole Betiku, Jr. of Illinois and Dana Levine of Temple.
The Giants also signed rookie defensive back Jarren Williams of the University at Albany.
They will likely have to make at least one more roster move this week when linebacker Markus Golden passes his physical and signs his unrestricted free agent tag. That is expected to take place this week after he clears his COVID-19 screening.