Running back Shane Vereen has been designated for return from injured reserve

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The Giants today added two more veteran players, a quarterback and their first defensive newcomer of the offseason.

The newest Giants are , who spent his first four NFL seasons with the Jets, and cornerback and special teams standout Valentino Blake, who has played for Jacksonville, Pittsburgh and Tennessee.

Smith, 6-3 and 221 pounds, was the Jets’ second-round draft choice in 2013, from West Virginia University. He started every game as a rookie, and 13 of the 14 games in which he played the following year. Smith was a reserve the last two seasons, appearing in one game in 2015 and two last season. He started the Jets’ victory against Baltimore on Oct. 23, but tore his ACL in the second quarter, subsequently underwent surgery, and missed the rest of the season.

“I want to remind the guys that I’m still in the room,” said. “There are a lot of times where it’s out of sight, out of mind, and I would never want anyone in the room to forget that I’m here to compete as well.”

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Thomas has actually been in the linebacker and defensive meeting rooms since training camp opened. But he hasn’t been on the field. Because of a lingering hamstring injury, he began camp on the active/physically unable to perform list, a designation he officially escaped today, when he passed his physical.

It’s unknown if Thomas will appear in a preseason game, but he is “very” confident he will be on the field when the Giants open their regular season in Dallas on Sept. 11.Nike Giants #54 Olivier Vernon White Women's Stitched NFL Limited Rush Jersey

That’s how J.T. Thomas describes his native state that year after year produces more NFL talent than anywhere else. But through his foundation, the Giants linebacker is teaching local kids that it’s not the only definition out there.

Thomas, a fifth-year veteran who signed with the Giants last season as a free agent, and Peterson achieved the ultimate dream of every football player, but not everyone will. That’s why Thomas used the NFL  cheap giants shirts platform to start his foundation.

“Our mission is to empower our youth through education,” Thomas said. “I just feel like the kids aren’t always aware or as educated as they should be because regardless of circumstance, you always have a choice. You always have a decision to make. I think that’s one of the things I was put here on earth to do. Not just be a role model for kids, but to help a specific type of person, to help a specific type of kid, to let them know that the whole world is at their fingertips these days.”

After being drafted by the Bears in 2011, Thomas took Joslyn Levell, who has spina bifida, to her eighth-grade prom in West Virginia, where he had followed in his father’s footsteps and played for the Mountaineers. And then in 2012, Thomas invited Anthony Grandberry, a Chicago teen suffering from epilepsy, to be his guest at Super Bowl XLVI, where the Giants defeated the Patriots.

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Running back has been designated for return from injured reserve and returned to practice today. He was placed on injured reserve on Sept. 27 after injuring his triceps in the Giants’ Week 3 loss to the Washington Redskins.

Versatile running back Shane Vereen, who has missed the last nine games with a triceps injury, was activated off injured reserve/designated for return. He will be in uniform tomorrow when the 8-4 Giants host the 11-1 Dallas Cowboys. The Giants have four games remaining. They host Detroit next week before traveling to Philadelphia and Washington for their final two games.

This time last year, running back Shane Vereen was participating in his first offseason with the Giants, having left New England to sign a free agent contract with Big Blue earlier in the year.

Vereen was also coming off a victory in Super Bowl XLIX, where he caught a record eleven catches, the most by a running back in Super Bowl history.

Fast-forward to the present and Vereen, a six-year NFL veteran, is coming off a much different type of season, one in which the Giants finished below .500 and third in the NFC East.