When Jake Ballard walked into the Giants’ fieldhouse shortly after 4 p.m. today, we all assumed he had cleared waivers and was therefore cleared to return to the Giants’ facility as the newest member of their PUP/reserve list.
Turns out he was just here to say goodbye.
Ballard, who was waived on Monday afternoon, was picked up off the waiver wire by the Patriots, his agent announced on Twitter today. That would be the same Patriots team against which Ballard had the best game of his brief Giants career in the regular season, catching the game-winning touchdown and a brilliant over-the-shoulder grab, and the same Patriots team against which he tore his ACL in the Super Bowl.
Ballard required not only ACL reconstruction but microfracture surgery to repair his knee. He is not expected to be able to play in 2013. The Giants waived him with the intention of placing him on PUP/reserve and thereby not having him count against the 90-man roster. The risk was that some team would grab him. Some team did.
Ballard Tweeted yesterday that he expected to be back with the Giants in 2013.
"(The knee injury) wasn’t any worse than what was expected," Tom Coughlin said of the decision to waive Ballard earlier in the day, before he was claimed by the Patriots. "What he had was upfront from the time the surgery was done. So that is where that is."
Now Ballard isn't even where Ballard is.
Ballard spoke with several teammates – check that, FORMER teammates – as the Giants ended practice. James Brewer came over to say goodbye. He also spoke with several of the Giants’ trainers and position coach Mike Pope.
It’s unclear right now if Ballard will count against the Patriots’ 90-man roster or if the Patriots have any intentions on getting him on the field this season.