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Giants Promote 21-Year-Old WR Ahead of Eagles Game

The New York Giants announced the elevations of defensive back Zyon Gilbert and wide receiver Makai Polk for the Divisional Round playoff matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles on January 20.

ROSTER MOVES 1/20

Activated from Practice Squad (Standard Elevation):
-DB Zyon Gilbert
-WR Makai Polk pic.twitter.com/fegO0HE85m

— Dan Salomone (@Dan_Salomone) January 20, 2023

Gilbert appeared in three regular-season games and made one start for the Giants in 2022, posting 14 tackles and a sack in those appearances. He joined the Giants as an undrafted rookie in May.

Polk is also an undrafted rookie, but originally signed with the Ravens and eventually landed on the Giants’ practice squad on September 28.

The 21-year-old Polk has never appeared in an NFL game and Art Stapleton of NorthJersey.com believes his elevation is a reward.

Gilbert has been up previously. Likely a reward for Polk, possibly Gilbert as well much like Pimpleton and Corbin last week https://t.co/3ojwvGc9s3

— Art Stapleton (@art_stapleton) January 20, 2023

Both players will revert back to the practice squad after the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs is over.

More on Makai Polk

Before entering the NFL, Polk played college football for three seasons — two at California and his last at Mississippi State.

Polk led the SEC in receptions in 2021 (105) and also set the single-season program receiving for receiving yards with 1,046 receiving yards, becoming one of only four players in the SEC since 2000 to record 100-plus receptions, 1000-plus receiving yards and nine or more receiving touchdowns in a single season.

Lance Zierlein of NFL.com projected Polk to get selected in the fifth- or sixth-round of the 2022 NFL draft.

Zierlein described Polk as “very instinctive and natural for the position,” and said he offers “upside talent with good length and impressive ball skills that could foreshadow more to come.”

On the flip side, the NFL draft analyst said that “he’s not a great separator underneath and is unlikely to scare anyone with his deep speed. It’s easy to spot his high football IQ and impressive ball skills throughout the tape, but he needs additional play strength and razor-sharp route running to counteract his lack of explosiveness.”

Polk wasn’t selected in the 2022 NFL draft and signed with the Ravens as an undrafted free agent. He was cut from Baltimore’s practice squad on September 27 and would sign with the Giants a day later.

Giants & Eagles Injury Estimations

The Giants were close to being spotless on their final injury report on January 19 as they enter their Divisional playoff matchup. They listed outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari as questionable for the contest as he’s been limited all week due to a quad injury he suffered against the Vikings, which limited him to eight snaps.

Despite missing 10 games this season, Ojulari finished second among Giants defenders in recording 5.5 sacks, two behind defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence (7.5).

Defensive back Landon Collins (ankle), wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins, defensive backs Julian Love (hamstring) and Fabian Moreau (hip) did not receive an injury designation but were limited in Thursday’s practice.

Cornerback Adoree’ Jackson (back) and DB Jason Pinnock (abdomen) were full participants in Thursday’s practice and were not given an injury designation.

As for the Eagles, they held their final practice on Thursday and cornerback Avonte Maddox (toe) was ruled out. Defensive lineman Brandon Graham (illness) was ruled limited and offensive tackle Lane Johnson (groin), defensive linemen Linval Joseph (calf) and Robert Quinn (back) were listed as full participants.

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