The New York Giants have a new backup quarterback and there might be more changes on the way before next week’s season opener at Dallas.
In a minor surprise in reaching the NFL’s 53-man limit on Saturday, the Giants terminated the contract of David Carr, who had been Eli Manning’s backup for four of the past five seasons.
Curtis Painter , who was out of football last season, is the new backup as the Giants kept three quarterback for the first time since 2007. Fourth-round draft pick Ryan Nassib is being groomed as the quarterback of the future.
”We’ll miss David Carr around here, to be honest with you. He’s done an outstanding job directing our second offense and our scout team,” coach Tom Coughlin said. ”He has the ability to do whatever we ask of him in that regard. He can run the option, he can be the running quarterback if you want him to do that. Ryan Nassib is going to have to step up and be that guy when you’re talking about the teams we play that have a running quarterback.”
Painter, who last played with the Colts in 2011 when he started eight games with Peyton Manning injured, completed 26 of 51 passes for 289 yards and a touchdown in edging out Carr, who was 19 of 30 for 163 yards.
Two other moves on Saturday gave indications that the Giants have not finalized their roster.
The team reached an injury settlement with veteran safety Tyler Sash, who sustained a concussion in the preseason finale against New England on Thursday, and they waived free agent safety David Caldwell. That leaves three safeties on the roster, including rookie Cooper Taylor, a fifth round draft pick.
Expect New York to add a veteran safety to join Antrel Rolle and Ryan Mundy. The position had looked solid until Stevie Brown, who had a team-high eight interceptions last season, was lost for the season with a knee injury.
New York can use veteran cornerbacks Aaron Ross and Terrell Thomas as safeties, if needed. Ross has looked good in his return to the Giants after a year in Jacksonville and Thomas is one of the feel-good stories of camp, making the team after missing the last two season with anterior cruciate ligament injuries.
In other moves, the Giants terminated the contract of running back Ryan Torain, placed receiver Ramses Barden on injured reserve and waived-injured offensive lineman Selvish Capers.
Defensive tackle Markus Kuhn was placed on the reserve/physically unable to perform list. He tore his ACL in November and will have to sit out the first six games of the season.
Safety Will Hill was moved to the NFL’s reserve-suspended list. The NFL announced July 20 that the second-year pro was suspended without pay for the first four games of the regular season for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse.
Defensive tackle Marvin Austin, an oft-injured second-round pick in 2011, was waived along with defensive ends Adrian Tracy, Adewale Ojomo and Matt Broha; linebacker Kyle Bosworth; offensive linemen Eric Herman, Matt McCants, Stephen Goodin and Bryant Browning; safety David Caldwell; cornerbacks Terrence Frederick and Charles James; and receivers Kevin Hardy, Marcus Harris and Julian Talley.
Austin missed his rookie season with a pectoral injury and played in eight games last seasom. He was beaten out by veterans Shaun Rogers and Mike Patterson.
”They played well,” Coughlin said. ”They deserve it. The other night they played 20-something plays and did a nice job not only in changing the line of scrimmage, but we brought them back after the half, so they demonstrated the ability to do that.”
Herman was a seventh-round draft pick, the only draft pick not to make the team.
The release of Torain might indicate that Coughlin is looking for another running back. David Wilson, the 2012 first-round draft pick, is the starter, backed up by seventh-round draft pick Michael Cox and Da’Rel Scott, a seventh-round draft pick who has had 11 carries in his first two seasons.
New York kept veteran running back Andre Brown on the roster, but he is going to miss at least a month with a broken left leg. He was hurt Thursday against the Patriots.
Cox was the second-to-last player selected in the draft, 253rd overall.
”He has demonstrated outstanding ability as a kick returner,” Coughlin said of Cox. ”We put him at gunner and he was a good gunner. You send him down on kickoffs and he did a nice job with that. He has shown endurance and power and strength and the attitude anywhere you put him. We preach it all the time. You make the team because of your contributions on special teams. You have a great chance. That’s what he did.”