Giants promote TE Ballard to add depth behind Boss, Beckum

The New York Giants have promoted rookie tight end Jake Ballard from their practice squad in time for Sunday night's NFC East showdown with the Philadelphia Eagles, the team announced Saturday.

Ballard, undrafted out of Ohio State, is seen by the Giants as a blocking tight end who adds depth to the position behind Kevin Boss, Travis Beckum and Bear Pascoe.

Boss suffered a lumbar strain last week against the Dallas Cowboys and missed practice Thursday. He was limited in practice Friday, but the Giants listed him as probable on their injury report.

Pascoe is being used a situational fullback in the wake of a foot injury to Madison Hedgecock, leaving the team thin at tight end.

Ballard has never appeared in a regular-season NFL game. He missed most of training camp with a hamstring injury and was signed to the practice squad on Sept. 5.

To make roster room for Ballard's promotion, the Giants waived rookie safety D.J. Johnson.

Johnson, who was signed off the Denver Broncos' practice squad last November, appeared in three games with the Giants last season and seven games in 2010. He has four tackles this season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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