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The Giants signed wide receivers Kevin Norwood and Da’Ron Brown to their practice squad.
Norwood, 6-2 and 210 pounds, has played in 10 regular-season games with two starts – nine games and both starts in 2014 for the Seattle Seahawks, who drafted him from Alabama that year on the fourth round (No. 123 overall). He had nine receptions for 102 yards, with a long catch of 31 yards.
The touchdown – a 24-yard catch in the end zone late in the first half – was also the first reception of his career. Lewis, who went undrafted out of Bowling Green this past April, successfully navigated the difficult path for players in his situation to the 53-man roster this summer. He was inactive for the first three weeks of the season but eventually suited up for the first time in Minnesota. On Sunday, he was called into action when two-time Pro Bowl receiver Odell Beckham Jr. went down temporarily with a hip pointer.
“When I was in the locker room, they told me that Roger Lewis scored,” Beckham said. “For someone to be able to come in here and just make plays, that’s what we expect of everybody. One man down, next man up. He came in and started it up.”
Giants wide receivers Tavarres King and Roger Lewis have performed well under the radar throughout training camp and the preseason. With the wideout focus on Odell Beckham Jr. Victor Cruz and Sterling Shepard, King led the Giants with seven catches, 126 yards and three touchdowns, while Lewis contributed five receptions for 59 yards and a touchdown.
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Norwood was traded on Sept. 1, 2015 to the Carolina Panthers, and played one game for them last season. This year, he had eight receptions, including a touchdown, while playing in all four preseason games. He was waived on Sept. 30 and was on the San Diego Chargers’ practice squad from Oct. 5 to Nov. 1.
Brown, 6-1 and 200 pounds, was a seventh-round draft choice (No. 233 overall) in 2015 by the Kansas City Chiefs, from Northern Illinois. He spent the entire 2015 season on the Chiefs’ practice squad. Brown was waived by Kansas City on Sept. 3, and was on the New England Patriots’ practice squad from Sept. 28 to Oct. 1
Conor McDermott knew Paul Perkins was special from their first practice together at UCLA.
The 6-foot-8, 307-pound offensive lineman is here in Indianapolis this week for the NFL Scouting Combine, a process Perkins went through a year ago before his selection in the fifth round. McDermott’s eyes lit up when he heard his former teammate’s name during Thursday’s media availability.
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While the players worked their way through the offseason program, including three weeks of organized team activities, Perkins, the running back selected in the fifth round of the NFL Draft, was completing his academic requirements at UCLA. He maintained a connection to the team through the small screen of his iPad, on which he watched the daily practices. That provided a long-distance crash course in the Giants’ offense.
Over that time, the NFL’s incoming class prepared for the combine, participated in the combine, held Pro
Days, anxiously awaited the draft results, and cheap Giants jerseys reported for rookie minicamp before being thrown into the deep end with veterans during spring practices. Such is life for an athlete trying to make it to the professional level.
The rookies are now enjoying a much-needed break before reporting for training camp on July 28. So it’s a good time to gauge their progress heading into summer.
Landon Collins put together a breakout sophomore campaign for the Giants’ history books last year, garnering first-team All-Pro honors and inserting himself in the conversation for NFL Defensive Player of the Year. It will be tough to repeat that kind of success, but there are a handful of second-year candidates who will take on larger roles starting this spring. Following the release of Rashad Jennings, running back Paul Perkins will adjust to being a feature back. Safety Darian Thompson, who lost much of his promising rookie season to injury, will try to get back on track and compete for a spot opposite Collins. Meanwhile, linebacker B.J. Goodson is in line to build off his first year as a core special teamer.