When the rookies were forced into a dance contest in front of the veterans earlier in training camp, one set of moves stood out above the others. It was undrafted receiver Roger Lewis Jr.’s shimmying that most impressed Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr.
So enchanted was Manning by the moves, in fact, that before Thursday night’s game against the Patriots, the starting quarterback pulled the rookie aside and gave him an order.
“He was like: “Hey, let’s go out and score a touchdown. I want to see you do that dance,’ ” Lewis said of his conversation. “So there you go.”
Indeed. It took almost all of the preseason for Lewis to finally show up in a game, but with 3:49 left in the game, he caught a touchdown pass from Logan Thomas in the 17-9 win over the Patriots.
“I’m a playmaker, but I just had to wait my turn, and when the play came, it came,” Lewis said. “I needed it. I made a lot of plays in practice, and to make it in the game was big for me.”
While his teammates were excited about the elaborate dance moves, the coaches will be paying more attention to the play on the field. Lewis has looked impressive in practices but has dropped a few passes in games, including one on Thursday night just before the touchdown.
“I was frustrated,” he said. “I know my mom’s going to say something about that. But when the ball came again, I just made sure I had it.”
Given that he’s an undrafted rookie, there might not be that much wiggle room. Lewis, like many Giants players, will have a tense next two days awaiting the announcement of the 53-man roster.
“It’s going to be a lot of praying and sitting back and waiting for my chance,” he said. “I made a lot of good plays in practice, and to make them in the game is big time.”