The New York Giants promoted Austin Walter from the practice squad to be the club’s third running back for Thursday night’s game against the New England Patriots.
New York waived third-string quarterback Alex Tanney to open up the roster spot.
The Giants badly needed another running back with star Saquon Barkley (high ankle sprain) missing his third straight game and backup Wayne Gallman (concussion) also sidelined.
Jonathan Hilliman (19 carries, 53 yards in 2019) and Elijhaa Penny (eight carries, 30 yards) are expected to share carries in the Giants’ backfield. Hilliman is an undrafted rookie, and Penny is primarily a fullback.
Walter, 23, went undrafted out of Rice. He was signed by the San Francisco 49ers as a free agent and was released late in training camp.
The Giants signed Walter to the practice squad on Sept. 18.
The 5-foot-8, 190-pound Walter rushed for 1,744 yards and 13 touchdowns in 49 games for Rice.
Tanney was in his second season with the Giants and could be re-signed as early as next week depending on the health situation at running back.
He hasn’t appeared in a game for New York but saw action in one game for the Tennessee Titans in 2015, going 10-of-14 passing for 99 yards and one touchdown in the regular-season finale against the Indianapolis Colts.
New York will also be without tight end Evan Engram (knee) and wide receiver Sterling Shepard (concussion) against the Patriots.