Despite the NY Giants posting a thrilling 14-7 win over the Washington Commanders on Sunday, there were plenty of negatives that left people fuming. Most notably, the special teams play was a joke, especially for the return game.
General manager Joe Schoen has decided to make a move to try and fix things. According to ESPN insider Jordan Raanan, the Giants have signed Gunner Olszewski to the practice squad. Olszewski may not be a name you're familiar with, but he has plenty of return experience and was even a First-Team All-Pro with New England not long ago:
Giants sign Gunner Olszewski to the practice squad for special teams help
In 2020 when he earned All-Pro honors with the Pats, Olszewski led the NFL with his 17.3 yards per punt return. The following season, Olszewski averaged 11.9 yards per return in 2021. After three seasons with New England, Olszewski made his way to the Steelers.
Last season with Pittsburgh, he averaged only 6.9 yards per return. He appeared in two games for the Steelers this season before being released last Friday by the AFC North side. With how bad things were for the Giants on Sunday, Schoen decided to bring him to town - a wise decision.
Rookie running back Eric Gray has been the primary punt returner, but he has been a liability throughout the season. He fumbled in the first half vs. the Commanders, but luckily the Giants were able to recover the pigskin.
Gray, dealing with a calf injury, was replaced by veteran wideout Sterling Shepard, but his muffed punt in the second half set the Commanders up in perfect position to put points on the board. They did, with that drive ending with a Brian Robinson rushing score.
New York ended up benching Shep too and sending out Darius Slayton to return punts. Fans would cheer in sarcastic fashion whenever he caught the ball. It was clear the Giants needed special teams help, which is where Olszewski comes in. We expect him to be elevated to the active roster ahead of the Jets showdown.