The New York Giants secondary has taken quite their fair share of licks and bruises over the past few weeks. From spiraling out of the top-five down to the 23rd ranked pass defense, to losing two starters to IR over a three-day span, the unit could certainly use a boost.
Maybe the addition of a former third-round pick and a pre-season dark horse starting candidate could, at the least, add some juice.
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Giants Activate DBs Brandon Williams & Montre Hartage
On the eve of Sunday’s NFC East bout against Washington, the Giants activated defensive backs Brandon Williams (injured reserve) and Montre Hartage (practice squad). Williams will “replace” the roster spot left behind by starting cornerback Ryan Lewis, who will miss at least the next three games with a hamstring injury. A third-round pick by the Arizona Cardinals back in 2016, Williams appeared in the Giants’ first two games of 2020, logging 29 special teams snaps. He has not suited up for Big Blue since Week 3 due to a groin injury.
Week 9 will make the second consecutive week Hartage has been elevated from the practice squad to the active roster for gameday. An intriguing hybrid cornerback-safety signing this past offseason, Hartage was a darkhorse to nail down a starting gig in the Giants secondary, namely due to his physicality and past history with defensive coordinator Patrick Graham.
However, a hamstring injury suffered in the final week of training camp led the Giants to waive the defensive back with an injury settlement in early September. Now healthy, Hartage was part of a three-man reunion early last week, rejoining New York alongside wide receiver Corey Coleman and tight end Rysen John.
Hartage’s positional flexibility should come in handy for a team ailing in numerous spots on the backend of their defense. With that said, Hartage’s likely best path to defensive snaps is at the safety position, where he can help fill the void left by Adrian Colbert. Colbert, a former teammate of Hartage’s in Miami a season ago, took over as a starter for the Giants in Week 4, but hasn’t taken the field since Week 5 due to a shoulder injury.
Alfred Morris & Chad Slade Called Up
In other roster news, running back Alfred Morris and offensive guard Chad Slade have also been activated from the practice squad ahead of Sunday’s game.
Morris made his Giants debut this past Monday, helping serve as an injury replacement to starter Devonta Freeman. The veteran touted the rock eight times for 28 yards on 21 offensive snaps. Morris will now face off against a Washington team that drafted him back in 2012, and where he notched three consecutive 1,000-plus yard seasons under his belt.
For the second consecutive week, the Giants have pegged Slade as their COVID-19 replacement for guard Will Hernandez. The starter was “technically eligible” to come off the COVID/Reserve list on Saturday, but the belief this week in New York has been that he “almost certainly” will not be playing on Sunday.
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