The once-perceived running back of the future for the New York Giants has earned yet another chance to re-energize his formerly promising NFL career.
The Indianapolis Colts announced on Thursday that they have signed running back Paul Perkins to their practice squad. The 25-year-old, 5-foot-11, 208 pound Perkins has appeared in 29 career games since entering the NFL as a fifth-round pick with the Giants back in 2016.
Perkins’ most recent game action came a season ago when he appeared in four games with the Detroit Lions, rushing 12 times for 29 yards and adding nine yards through the air on one reception. The Lions would go on to waive Perkins come mid-November. He would go on to have stints on the Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens’ practice squads.
In total, the former second-team All-Pac-12 selection has totaled 65 carries for 575 yards, to go along with 24 receptions for 217 yards. He also drew the start in the Giants’ most recent playoff appearance, a 38-13 loss to the Green Bay Packers in the 2016 Wildcard round. Perkins finished that game with 57 total yards on 13 combined touches.
ALL the latest Giants news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Giants newsletter here!
Perkins’ Disappointing Run in NY
The 159th-overall selection out of UCLA in 2016, Perkins arrived in New York with quite lofty expectations for a fifth-round pick. Perkins closed out his four-year run in Los Angeles with back-to-back 1,343-plus yard rushing campaigns, adding 80 career receptions to his resume for good measure. Many believed the versatile talent had what it took to rejuvenate a sluggish run offense that had ranked within the bottom-10 in the NFL on average over the previous three years.
After starting his rookie season buried on the depth chart behind the likes of Rashad Jennings, Bobby Rainey and Orleans Darkwa, Perkins started to make waves towards the latter end of the year. He would go on to average no fewer than 4.86 ypc in each of Big Blue’s final four games of 2016, including a 102-yard performance in the season finale, a mark that to this day remains a career-high.
Perkins’ stellar play was enough to catapult him up the depth chart, as then-head coach Ben McAdoo named him the team’s starting running back in May of 2017. Unfortunately, Perkins’ grip hold on the job did not last very long. He started the first four games of the season, averaging a meager 15.25 ypg. He would quickly go on to be supplanted by fan-favorite Orleans Darkwa and then-rookie Wayne Gallman, essentially ending his run in New York.