Outside linebacker Kyler Fackrell and cornerback Madre Harper have been activated off injured reserve. Conversely, fullback Eli Penny has been placed on I.R. with an undisclosed injury.
Punter Ryan Santoso will join Fackrell and Harper on the active roster as a standard practice squad elevation. Quarterback Joe Webb has been released.
Webb was originally signed to the team’s practice squad in early December amidst an injury to starting quarterback Daniel Jones. The 11-year vet was called up to the active roster on December 19, appearing in each of New York’s past two games. While Webb failed to log an offensive snap over his tenure with the Giants, he did register 13 special teams snaps, including playing 39% of the team’s special team’s snaps in last week’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
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‘No Issues’ With Graham Gano & Riley Dixon
The elevation of Santoso has naturally raised some questions surrounding the status of both kicker Graham Gano and punter Riley Dixon.
Reminder, the Giants did have a coach test positive for COVID-19 this week (o-line coach Dave DeGuglielmo). However, according to NJ.com’s Art Stapleton, the elevation is nothing more than insurance, adding that there are “no issues” with neither Gano nor Dixon.
I'm told Santoso elevation is insurance, per source. No issues w/ Graham Gano or Riley Dixon.
If one of 3 specialists identified as close contact, even if negative, position would get wiped out on game day.
Sounds like Joe Judge following through on contingency plans in Week 17 https://t.co/eTsy5xBnHI
— Art Stapleton (@art_stapleton) January 2, 2021
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Fackrell Will Look for Repeat Performance vs. Dallas
Fackrell, 29, has missed the last four games after landing on I.R. with a calf injury initially sustained in New York’s Week 12 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. In his absence, the Giants have had to get creative with their personnel, trotting out the likes of late-round picks Carter Coughlin and Cam Brown at outside linebacker. Hell, even inside backer David Mayo has moonlighted as an edge defender over recent weeks.
Safe to say Fackrell will be welcomed back with open arms on Sunday.
An under-the-radar signing by GM Dave Gettleman this past offseason, the former Green Bay Packer has appeared in 11 games (eight starts) during his inaugural season with the Giants. Over that period, Fackrell has flaunted a versatile skillset, accounting for nine QB hits, 31 tackles, six tackles for loss and two passes defended.
Despite being on the shelf for upwards of a month, Fackrell’s 3.0 sacks this season remain the most by any Giants edge defender. He’s also proven serviceable in the run game, posting a 69.1 Pro Football Focus run defense grade.
Fackrell’s shining moment this season dates back to Week 5, when the five-year pro recorded his first career interception, picking off Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and returning it 46 yards for a defensive score.
The Giants will be looking for similar game-changing plays from Fackrell and his fellow teammates come Sunday as Big Blue looks to punch their first ticket to the playoffs since 2016.
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