NY Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley talks to reporters Wednesday about how he has grown as a player.
Art Stapleton, Staff Writer, @art_stapleton
EAST RUTHERFORD – At this time a year ago, Aldrick Rosas wondered if he had kicked himself out of the NFL.
Now he’s headed to the Pro Bowl.
That’s quite a turnaround for Rosas, one of the Giants’ best redemption stories of the season.
“I don’t know how to describe it – shocking,” Rosas said Wednesday. “Just to get that support and votes from my peers and the fans, and everybody in the building, this organization just being behind me. It’s real special.”
The Giants have been rewarded by the faith they showed in Rosas, who has enjoyed a breakout season by making all but one of his 29 field goal attempts. He’s also made 25 of 26 extra point attempts for 109 points, the league’s ninth-highest total.
“Yeah, I’m happy for the guys that are recognized and certainly in his case, he’s recognized for having a terrific year,” Giants coach Pat Shurmur said of Rosas. “He’s made some amazing kicks and he’s done a great job with his kickoffs. He had one that went out of bounds, he gets one in a career I told him, so that was his only one. But, no, I’ve been pleased with what he’s done this year. You hate to say you have favorite players, but he’s one of my favorites. You’ve heard me talk about how he’s not just a kicker, he’s a football player. He’s a big guy, he’s got a presence, and he’s competitive. So I appreciate all the good in Aldrick and the fact that he was recognized is great.”
Rosas worked with John Carney this offseason, and he wouldn’t be the first kicker to find himself after a tough start to his career. It took Carney four years to establish himself in the NFL, and Matt Bryant became one of the league’s best when he joined the Falcons after stints in NFL Europe and with five other NFL teams, including the Giants.
Rosas already had his own underdog story, with a path as challenging as the one traveled by Carney, Bryant and others before him. He was the kicker for Southern Oregon and won the NAIA national championship during the 2014 season, but the game itself was not all good for Rosas, who tore the ACL in his right knee while making a tackle on a kickoff return in the fourth quarter.
Rosas did what he had to do on the comeback trail, and after getting a shot as an undrafted rookie two seasons ago with the Titans, he joined the Giants and won the job.
“I think it was a little bit of both, but mostly the mental aspect of it. I could sit down with Carney, who actually played here and I think went to the Pro Bowl here,” Rosas said. “Just to sit down with him and talk about every little situation. It was great just to sit down with him and really pick his brain about everything and all the situations that happened. I really learned a lot.”
No practice for Odell Beckham Jr., Alec Ogletree
WR Odell Beckham Jr. (quad) and LB Alec Ogletree (concussion) were among those who did not participate in Wednesday’s practice. Shurmur indicated Beckham has been making progress from the injury that has kept him sidelined for the last two games, but the Giants are uncertain if he’ll be available to play against the Colts on Sunday. Meanwhile, Ogletree arrived at the facility Wednesday not feeling well, according to Shurmur, and after testing and evaluation, it was determined that he was suffering from concussion symptoms and was placed in protocol. … The Giants activated WR Cody Latimer from injured reserve, placing CB and special teamer Antonio Hamilton (quad) on season-ending IR.