Giants Sign 21-Game Starting O-Lineman, Elevate Pro Bowl Specialist

Giants sign Evan Boehm, elevate Pharoh Cooper

Getty New Giants offensive lineman Evan Boehm.

The New York Giants, like the majority of the NFL, are currently in the midst of a COVID-19 outbreak. ESPN’s Jordan Raanan reported on Friday, December 17, that the team has taken an “abundance of caution” and shifted to operating remotely. One day earlier, Adoree Jackson became the second cornerback and the sixth Giants player overall to test positive for COVID-19 this week.

To help counteract the reduced numbers on the active roster, New York has elevated wide receiver/return specialist Pharoh Cooper as a COVID-19 replacement. The move marks the sixth consecutive time the former Pro Bowler has been called up to the gameday roster. Over that span, he’s served as the team’s primary return man, totaling 194 all-purpose yards on 11 kickoff/punt returns. Cooper has also served sparingly as a pass-catcher in the Giants’ offense, hauling in four receptions for 33 yards. With Kadarius Toney (illness) and John Ross (illness) both on the reserve/COVID-19 list, look for Cooper to once again be sprinkled into the offensive gameplan come Sunday’s bout against the Dallas Cowboys.


Giants Add O-Line Depth

In other roster news, the team added some depth to the interior of their offensive line by signing Evan Boehm to their practice squad. A 28-year-old NFL journeyman, Boehm has started 21 games since entering the league as a fourth-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals back in 2016. Other stops along his pro career have included stints with the Los Angeles Rams, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars and Detroit Lions.

Like many of the other interior players on the roster, Boehm presents position flexibility, having taken snaps at center as well as both guard positions. The Giants previously hosted the Missouri product for a tryout in late July, but ultimately opted against adding him at that time.

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Giants Hopeful to Have Xavier McKinney vs. Dallas

Joining Jackson, Toney and Ross on the reserve/COVID-19 list is cornerback Aaron Robinson and linebackers Cam Brown and Oshane Ximines. Standout safety Xavier McKinney, who is unvaccinated, is also on the list due to being a high-risk close contact.

While McKinney remains away from the team, should he continue to test negative he’ll be permitted to return to the team facilities on Saturday, making him eligible to suit up and play against the Cowboys on Sunday, via Giants.com’s Michael Eisen.

“As long as he continues to test negative, we plan on him playing,” coach Joe Judge said of McKinney on December 16. “We can get him back Saturday. We can give him a little of a walk-through and all that stuff. We’ll kind of get him moving around a bit, get his body back going, and we plan on him playing Sunday.”

McKinney, 22, has played at an All-Pro level in his first healthy NFL season. His five interceptions are tied for the third-most in football, readily looking the part of an elite ballhawk. The former Alabama standout has also deflected nine passes and collected 70 tackles in 13 games this season. If McKinney can’t go vs. Dallas look for an uptick in playing time for the ever-versatile Julian Love and fellow safety J.R. Reed.

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