After bringing in Devonta Freeman for a visit, the Giants have put the veteran running back through COVID-19 testing protocols. If the former Falcons Pro Bowler’s tests come back negative, they are expected to sign him, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com reports (video link).
The Giants used Jerry Reese-era holdover Wayne Gallman as Saquon Barkley‘s primary replacement last season when the star running back rehabbed a high ankle sprain. A year later, it looks like Freeman and Dion Lewis will be tasked with filling the void. The Giants placed Barkley on IR Tuesday after his ACL tear.
Freeman visited the Eagles late last week and met with the Jaguars earlier this month. He is on Day 2 of coronavirus testing with the Giants, who suddenly need running back help more than the other teams that previously considered Freeman. The 28-year-old back waited for a quality fit this offseason, rejecting a Seahawks offer believed to be worth $3M and initially spurning the Eagles’ interest. It appears the Giants will be his second NFL destination.
The former Super Bowl starter has two 1,000-yard seasons on his resume. Each of those — in 2015 and ’16 — garnered him Pro Bowl invites. However, the former fourth-round pick has not been especially productive since 2017. Freeman missed almost all of the 2018 season due to injury and was not the same back in 2019, when he played in 14 Falcons games and averaged just 3.6 yards per carry. He will aim to re-establish himself in New York, which has 14 Barkley-less games on tap.
Gallman remains on the Giants’ 53-man roster, but Joe Judge turned to Lewis — whom he coached in New England — after Barkley’s injury. The Giants gave Lewis a one-year, $1.55M deal this offseason. He figures to share work with Freeman, whose deal most likely will be for 2020’s final 14 games.