When the New York Giants take the field for Sunday’s 2021 season-opener, quarterback Daniel Jones will have a familiar pass-catcher at his disposal in C.J. Board. The veteran wideout has been activated from the practice squad and will be active vs. the Denver Broncos, per Dan Salomone of Giants.com.
Board’s call-up comes just four days after he had his contract terminated to free up roster space for Nate Ebner. He was quickly signed to the practice squad on the same day.
After being hobbled by injury at the position for most of the summer, the Giants look to have a near-full slate of wide receivers at their disposal, as no active wide receiver was listed on the team’s final injury report.
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Board Expected to Man Kick Return Duties
More important than his possible presence on offense will be Board’s added value on special teams. The 27-year-old had been listed as the team’s top return man in the kicking game prior to his release — a position he still currently holds on the Giants’ unofficial depth chart.
Board has only returned two kicks in his NFL career, although he’s made the most of them, averaging 27.0 yards per return. He also flashed this preseason, where he clocked in hitting a top speed of 19.29 MPH on a 20-yard return against the New York Jets, via Next Gen Stats.
Rookie first-round pick Kadarius Toney and safety Jabrill Peppers could also factor into the kicking game come Sunday in East Rutherford.
Claimed off of waivers in August of 2020, the Chattanooga product appeared in 14 games (four starts) with the Giants a season ago. While his numbers were far from eye-popping, he did set new career highs in both receptions (11) and yards (101). He also noted 81 snaps on special teams — a number that is expected to skyrocket in 2021.
Giants Will Have Just 2 Tight Ends Active on Gameday
While the Giants look as healthy as they could be at the wideout position, the tight end spot is a different story. Pro Bowler Evan Engram was the lone Giants player ruled out on Friday’s injury report as he continues to battle a calf injury suffered in the team’s final preseason game.
“I know in Evan’s mind, he’s pushing to get back as fast as he can,” head coach Joe Judge said. “Obviously, we’ll make the right decision for him and the team, but he’d be the one that’s kind of furthest away right now.”
Not the ideal of starts for the much-maligned Giants tight end who had hung his hat on the fact that he was able to play all 16 games last season for the first time in his four-year NFL career. Over his full slate in 2020, Engram put forth a productive campaign, albeit somewhat overshadowed by his proneness to let the ball hit the floor. The former first-round pick was named to his first Pro Bowl after hauling in 63 receptions for 654 yards — both of which ranked within the top-three at his position in the NFC.
As NJ Advance Media’s Zack Rosenblatt highlighted, Engram’s non-availability leaves the Giants fairly thin at tight end, as the team opted against promoting any of the three tight ends they have on the practice squad (Jake Hausmann, Ryan Izzo and Chris Myarick) to the active roster.
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