EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Two-time Pro Bowl halfback Devonta Freeman has signed with the New York Giants and might play this weekend.
The Giants announced the move Wednesday, a day after 2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Saquon Barkley was placed on injured reserve with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
Freeman, who was released by the Atlanta Falcons earlier this year, was at practice Wednesday. Coach Joe Judge hopes to have him ready for Sunday’s game at MetLife Stadium against the San Francisco 49ers (1-1).
The Giants also will be getting running backs Dion Lewis and Wayne Gallman ready to play. Lewis carried the load Sunday after Barkley was hurt in the second quarter. Gallman was inactive, but he looked good in training camp.
"He had a good workout for us yesterday," Judge said of Freeman, who signed a one-year, $3 million contract. "We watched his tape from the past few years. We have some familiarity. (Defensive backs coach) Jerome Henderson was in Atlanta with him and spoke highly of his character and the kind of teammate he is in the locker room. I think he has some juice left in the tank."
Freeman played his first six NFL seasons for the Falcons.
The Giants also placed wide receiver Sterling Shepard on injured reserve with turf toe. He also was hurt in the second quarter of the Giants’ 17-13 loss to Chicago. He is eligible to be reinstated to the roster after missing three games.
Freeman has played in 77 regular-season games with 59 starts, and five post-season games. He has rushed for 3,972 yards and 32 touchdowns, adding 257 receptions and 11 TDs.
He made the Pro Bowl in 2015 and ’16. In the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots in early 2017, Freeman had 11 carries for 75 yards, including a 5-yard run for the game’s first touchdown. He added two catches for 46 yards.
Judge was a member of the Patriots staff that season.
Freeman was limited to two games in 2018 because of a groin injury. He ran for 656 yards and two touchdowns and caught 59 passes for 410 yards and four scores in 14 games last season.
The Giants also signed centre Javon Patterson to their practice squad. He missed his rookie season with a knee injury and was cut by the Colts on Sept. 5.