Dion Lewis came to the Giants with a reputation as a valuable pass-catching threat out of the backfield, a running back who does his best work as a third-down safety-valve option. He is that, to be sure. In a nine-year NFL career, Lewis has 172 receptions for 1,281 yards and seven touchdowns.
But that is not all he is.
“Don’t have this impression that this guy is a receiving back,’’ offensive coordinator Jason Garrett said Tuesday. “He’s willing to block, demonstrates an ability to run inside and outside in this league for a long, long time. He’s a pro. He knows the answers to every question.
“You get him in some of those two-minute situations, he’s a very clean protector, he understands who he needs to block when he’s asked to do that. But he’s also a very good route runner who can beat you when he gets out in space.’’
The Giants were outdoors at 5:15 p.m. for practice but headed to the safety of their indoor field house at 5:48 p.m. after a lightning strike cleared the field. Normally, the field house allows the team to use a full 100-yard field, but these are not normal times. The indoor space was repurposed for additional meeting space for COVID-19 social distancing, thus just 50 yards are available for actual practice use.
The Giants are expected to sign CB Brandon Williams. He was a 2016 third-round draft pick of the Cardinals out of Texas A&M, with 45 NFL games, mostly on special teams. Williams, 27, spent the 2019 season on injured reserve.
LB Ryan Connelly, FB Eli Penny, C Spencer Pulley and special teams ace Nate Ebner were not working. It was the fourth consecutive practice on the side for Connelly, who is coming off knee surgery.
Three players who did not make it through Monday’s practice were back on the field: S Jabrill Peppers, WR Darius Slayton and OL Shane Lemieux.
It has been an eventful summer for Thomas McGaughey, the special teams coordinator. The Giants are breaking in a new long snapper, Casey Kreiter, released Aldrick Rosas and brought in a new kicker, Graham Gano. They also lost Cody Core, a top player on coverage units, to a season-ending Achilles tendon injury. McGaughey worked with Gano, 33, with the Panthers. Gano missed the entire 2019 season with a fractured femur.
“Graham brings a stability to the position,’’ McGaughey said. “Obviously, a former Pro Bowl kicker. Just a veteran player in this league. He brings experience, he brings leadership, and he’s a good person. I’m excited to have him here. He’s been really good for our room, even in the short time that he’s been here. Graham is Graham, he’s just a good man. He works his tail off, he’s a professional field-goal kicker, that’s what he is. He goes about his business the way he is supposed to and hopefully once we get rolling, he is going to be his old self.”
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