Sandro Platzgummer’s tenure in East Rutherford will continue on. The running back, who spent last season with the New York Giants‘ practice squad as part of the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program, was officially signed by the team on Monday.
Prior to taking his talents to the states, Platzgummer played five seasons for Austria’s Swarco Raiders Tirol, serving as the team’s starting running back from 2015-2019. During his stint with the Raiders, Platzgummer manned a pivotal role in helping guide the team to four Austrian titles, including a perfect 16-0 season in 2019. His efforts also earned him a place on Austria’s U-19 national team, where he captured two European championships.
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Platzgummer Compares Himself to CMC, Looks Up to Saquon
After uploading his highlight film on a whim, Platzgummer was one of only 33 athletes invited to the NFL International Pathway combine in Cologne, Germany. The running back turned enough heads to advance for further training at IMG Academy, in the midst, catching the eyes of the Giants’ organization.
Platzgummer posted impressive testing numbers, including a 4.5 40-yard dash and a 39-inch vertical, leading to a phone call from his future position coach welcoming him to New York.
“That was pretty special,” Platzgummer recalled, via American Football International. “He (Giants RB coach Burton Burns) told me I was the final piece of the puzzle.”
While the jump from international football to the NFL is certainly a substantial one, Platzgummer believes his size and versatile skillset will transition well — even likening himself to one of the league’s very best.
“I admit I am really excited and I know it’s a huge challenge, but I’m not intimidated,” he said. “There’s guys in the NFL my size. I get inspiration from Christian McCaffrey who is no bigger than I am. I am looking forward to it.”
Speaking of inspiration, Platzgummer now shares a backfield with one of his biggest.
“Running back Saquon Barkley is who I admire the most with everything he has accomplished so far,” he noted.
Barkley and Devontae Booker undoubtedly have the top two spots locked down on the team’s depth chart. As it pertains to Platzgummer, the running back has an uphill, yet winnable battle on his hands in hopes of claiming a roster spot this season. The Giants currently roster two other running backs, Jordan Chunn and Taquan Mizzell — each of whom have combined to appear in just one game since 2019.
The team is expected to be in the running back market come to mid-to-late rounds of next week’s NFL Draft.
Giants Release CB Ryan Lewis
In other roster news, the team recently announced that they have waived cornerback Ryan Lewis. The University of Pittsburgh product appeared in five games (three starts) with the Giants this past season, accounting for 13 tackles and one pass defended before a hamstring injury landed him on season-ending injured reserve.
Despite supporters in the organization (namely defensive coordinator Patrick Graham), Lewis was ultimately deemed expendable in part due to the addition of Adoree’ Jackson along with the budding amount of young talent in Big Blue’s secondary.