Giants’ Dante Pettis could see some time as a returner

6 months ago 110

Dante Pettis had a hunch that helium mightiness get elevated from the Giants’ signifier squad astatine immoderate point, fixed the injuries that had piled up for the squad astatine wide receiver, but helium wasn’t definite erstwhile that would happen.

This was the four-year veteran’s archetypal play connected a signifier squad, and helium gradually adjusted to the role. He spent astir of his clip during the week learning the systems of opponents, experimenting with antithetic routes and releases and experiencing an accrued freedom. The tempos were different. He could merchantability definite fakes and moves “a small spot longer,” helium said.

But past Saturday, the time earlier the Giants’ hosted the Rams, Pettis joined the progressive roster for his archetypal quality successful a crippled this season. He finished with 11 targets, turning 5 of those into catches and accumulating 48 yards, and emerged arsenic a accordant enactment for Daniel Jones amid a plethora of injuries astatine the position.

Pettis’ beingness arsenic a returner — helium returned 9 punts for touchdowns successful assemblage astatine Washington — hasn’t crystallized yet, but peculiar teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey said Thursday helium has worked “a mates guys” astatine the kick-returning positions since superior returner C.J. Board present sits connected injured reserve aft fracturing his forearm against the Rams.

Dante PettisDante PettisRobert Sabo

“Getting backmost determination again is amusive conscionable to beryllium capable to beryllium with the returners and drawback a fewer punts, kickoffs, immoderate it is,” Pettis said aft signifier Friday. “What my relation is going to beryllium going forward? That’s honestly up to the coaches … but yeah, I’ll beryllium acceptable whenever.”

During the 2017 play astatine Washington, helium returned 4 punts for touchdowns, to springiness him 9 for his vocation and acceptable the NCAA record. Pettis finished with 90 punt returns for 1,274 full yards, including a agelong of 89 yards his sophomore season.

But aft Board near Sunday’s game, Pettis didn’t instrumentality implicit arsenic the superior footwear returner. That occupation went to Darnay Holmes, who McGaughey said hadn’t returned kicks since college. Head manager Joe Judge said connected Friday the Giants request to origin their tract presumption and the strategy that’s called into punt returns — and who the punt returner is.

“I gotta beryllium that I tin marque plays and everything earlier they enactment maine backmost there,” Pettis said.

He has dilatory started to carve retired a antithetic role, though the magnitude of its interaction volition apt beryllium connected however agelong receivers similar Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney and others stay out.