After a quiet few months, the New York Giants have begun to churn out a handful of roster moves with training camp around the corner. This is most true when it comes to the running back position, as the group has seen its fair share of movement in recent days. Of course, the biggest headline grabber is undoubtedly Saquon Barkley’s inclusion amongst six Giants to be placed on the Active/Physical Unable to Perform list (PUP).
However, there’s been further injury development in the backfield.
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Giants Place One RB on NFI List, Another on Injured Reserve
Sandro Platzgummer has been placed on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury List (NFI) with a hamstring injury. For the second consecutive year, the Giants have a roster exemption for Platzgummer as part of the NFL’s International Player Pathway program. This means the team can carry 91 players into the start of training camp, as opposed to the usual 90-man maximum.
Platzgummer will be eligible to return to practice as soon as he is medically cleared. However, a running back who will not be returning to practice anytime soon is Taquan Mizzell, who has been placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury.
The former Chicago Bear was initially signed to the Giants’ practice squad back in November of last year and eventually re-upped on a reserve/future contract following the conclusion of the 2020 regular season. Checking in at 5-foot-10-inches and 185-pounds, the Virginia product has appeared in a total of 12 games (one start) since entering the league as an undrafted free agent in 2017. Mizzell has amassed 94 yards from scrimmage and one touchdown over his career — all as a member of the Bears from 2017-2018. His lone career touchdown came in a Thanksgiving Day matchup against the Detroit Lions during his second pro campaign. While Mizzell has spent time with both the Giants and the New Orleans Saints since his exit from Chicago, he’s failed to appear in a regular-season game since.
Giants Bring Tyler Ervin in for Try Out
The Giants have already added a new member to the backfield in recent days, signing former Dallas Cowboys draft pick Mike Weber earlier this week. However, could the recent slew of carrying injuries open the door for another addition at the position?
Joining Weber, as well as newly-inked defensive back Jordyn Peters, for a workout on Tuesday was former Green Bay Packers running back Tyler Ervin (h/t ESPN’s Field Yates).
The 27-year-old is certainly a different animal when compared to Weber. While the latter could be categorized as more of a bruiser, the 5-foot-10-inch 192-pound Ervin is much more of a dual-threat option out of the backfield. In 43 career games — spanning across stints with the Packers, Jaguars, Ravens and Texans — the former fourth-round pick has amassed 278 yards from scrimmage (186 rushing yards and 92 receiving yards). He’s also proven serviceable in the return game, returning 50 kickoffs for 1,072 yards and 77 punts for another 631 yards.
Believe it or not, despite frequenting a backfield headlined by Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams and A.J. Dillon with Green Bay last season, Ervin was beginning to carve out a sizeable role as a change of pace/receiving back for the team before injuries began to hit. From Week 2 through Week 4, Ervin logged no fewer than 37% of the team’s offensive snaps. For reference, Dillon exceeded 23% just once during his 11 regular-season appearances as a rookie.
Before making his way to the NFL, Ervin made a living (figuratively, not financially) etching his name in San Jose State’s record books, lining up not only as a running back but also as a receiver, return specialist and even a cornerback.
Here’s a list of career records Ervin set for the Spartans during his collegiate days, via the Texans’ official website:
- All-purpose yardage (6,146)
- Kickoff return yardage (2,374)
- Kickoffs returned (101)
- Kickoff returns for a touchdown (3)
- Combined punt and kickoffs returned for touchdowns (5)
- Most touchdowns of 80 yards or more (6)
- Most touchdowns of 70 yards or more (8)
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