The New York Giants bid farewell to one fullback, but added another one, in addition to a former Pat Shurmur student from Minnesota.
The New York Giants announced a series of roster moves on Wednesday, headlined by the addition of former Pat Shurmur disciple Stacy Coley to their roster, while second-year fullback Shane Smith was released.
The Giants have claimed WR Stacy Coley from the Vikings; FB Shane Smith waived.
— New York Giants (@Giants) September 19, 2018
Coley, a second-year player from Miami, was drafted in the seventh-round of 2017’s draft by Minnesota, where he spent his rookie season under the guidance of offensive coordinator Shurmur, now the Giants’ head coach. He appeared in four games for the Vikings last season, as well as the first couple this year, but has yet to record a regular-season reception. Coley was released on Tuesday, when the Vikings added free agent kicker Dan Bailey.
Coley’s signing could potentially put some heat on Kaelin Clay, who has struggled as the Giants’ primary returner. He had one 19-yard return during his four-game cameo last season, and served as the Hurricanes’ returner on both kickoffs and punts during his freshman and sophomore seasons.
Notably, Coley left Miami ranked second in the program’s illustrious history in receptions with 166, falling just seven short of Reggie Wayne’s leading mark. He also ranks fifth in receiving yards (2,218) and fourth in touchdowns (20), tied with Wayne and Andre Johnson for the latter mark.
To make room for Coley, the fullback Smith was released. Smith made the team as an undrafted free agent out of San Jose State in the summer of 2017, playing 11 games in the ensuing season. Though Smith had no carries into 13 career regular-season games, including the first two this season, he made his presence known on special teams. He had five special teams tackles as a rookie, and notably received credit for a blocked punt in last December’s visit to Oakland, tackling punter Marquette King before he could even get the ball off.
The Giants still have a fullback on the roster in the form of Elijhaa Penny, whose signing was likewise announced on Wednesday. The older brother of current Seattle Seahawk Rashaad, the NCAA’s leading rusher last season with San Diego State, Penny played 16 games with the Arizona Cardinals in 2017, tallying 124 yards on 31 carries, two of which went for touchdowns.
Penny’s signing came about after the placement of center Jon Halapio on injured reserve. Injured during the Giants’ Sunday loss against the Dallas Cowboys, breaking his right ankle and lower leg, Halapio took to social media on Wednesday to provide good news of his status.
Surgery went smoothly and I’m already on the road to recovery! I can’t wait to get back to the facility, see my teammates, and attack the rehab program head-on!
God is Good!
— Jon Halapio (@Jhalapio67) September 19, 2018
The Giants, stationed at 0-2 after a pair of brutal offensive performances, will return to action this Sunday, taking on the equally winless Houston Texans in early game action (1:00 p.m. ET, Fox).