With Evan Engram and Kyle Rudolph both iffy for the opener, the New York Giants have been on the lookout for some tight end depth. ESPN’s Jordan Raanan reported that the team was targeting the position on the waiver wire and in free agency the day after their initial 53-man roster was finalized.
Since then, ex-Jacksonville Jaguars fifth-round pick Collin Johnson has been claimed off waivers. Yet, while he does boast potential tight end/h-back flexibility — measuring in at 6-foot-6-inches — he’s a wideout by trade. So, shortly after Johnson’s addition, the Giants opted to take a more direct route in addressing the position.
According to his agent Mike McCartney, free-agent tight end Ryan Izzo is signing with the Giants’ practice squad.
A Local Product With Joe Judge Ties
The move reunites Izzo, a former seventh-round pick of the New England Patriots, with head coach Joe Judge — who served as the Pats’ special teams coordinator for Izzo’s first two professional seasons. However, the Highland Lakes, New Jersey native doesn’t have much special teams experience under his belt. In 18 career regular-season games (missed his rookie campaign with an injury), Izzo has played a whopping eight special teams snaps.
Instead, Izzo carved out an offensive role in New England, starting all but two of his games in a Patriots uniform, including all 12 of his game appearances last season. The Florida State product played 268 offensive snaps in 2020 (23%), but much like the rest of the Patriots’ receiving arsenal, struggled to produce much with Cam Newton under center.
Izzo was targeted just 20 times on the year, of which he hauled in 13, for 199 yards. In total, he’s amassed 19 receptions for 313 yards and one touchdown over his career. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “if he doesn’t play special teams, and he’s not much of a threat as a receiver, he must be a solid blocker,” right? Well, not exactly, as highlighted by CLNS’ Evan Lazar.
Izzo was traded to Houston this offseason in a deal with Patriots former front office exec-turned-Texans general manager Nick Caserio. In exchange for Izzo’s services, New England received a seventh-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Izzo failed to make the Texans’ roster in a crowded tight end room with Jordan Akins, Pharaoh Brown and highly promising rookie Brevin Jordan.
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Latest on Engram’s Health
As for where Engram is in his return to the gridiron, coach Judge told Giants.com’s Dan Salomone there’s “not much new to report.”
Here’s what Judge initially had to say regarding Engram’s injury on a Zoom call following the team’s final preseason game.
In terms of Evan, he’s still going to see a doctor, they’re going to look at some things and kind of measure the severity of whatever it may be. Obviously, two weeks out leaves a little bit of a different window than it normally would be in the preseason track as far as getting ready for the opener, so we’ll have to see where he’s at in terms of how we manage him.
For what it’s worth, The Athletic’s Dan Duggan did spot Engram participating in some “very light work” on the sidelines at Giants practice on Wednesday.