The Giants re-signed defensive tackle Rocky Bernard and waived Jake Ballard after the tight end failed a physical.
Ballard is recovering from a torn ACL and microfracture knee surgery and was not expected to return until mid-season if at all. Players underwent physicals on Monday before the team’s minicamp begins on Tuesday. A source said Ballard is expected to return once he clears waivers and potentially be placed on the PUP list or injured reserve. Ballard and his agent, Blake Baratz, said on Twitter that the tight end will return to the Giants if he clears waivers.
"Thanks for love everyone but don't worry, its a business, I'm on the road to recovery, and I believe I'll be in a Giants uniform in '13," Ballard tweeted.
The Giants like the 6-6 Ballard, who had a breakout season last year with 38 receptions for 604 yards and four touchdowns in 14 games. Ballard, who emerged as a starter despite not being drafted out of Ohio State, suffered his serious knee injury during the Super Bowl and attempted to return to the game by testing his knee on the sideline before crumpling to the turf in pain.
The Giants lost two tight ends -- Ballard and Travis Beckum -- to torn ACL injuries in their Super Bowl XLVI win over the Patriots. While Beckum optimistically hopes to return around the start of the season, Ballard has said all offseason that it’s possible he could miss the season. The Giants signed free agent Martellus Bennett and drafted rookie tight end Adrien Robinson in the offseason. The Giants still have Bear Pascoe and they also like tight end Christian Hopkins.
Bernard is entering his 11th season and adds more depth to a defensive line that includes Chris Canty, Linval Joseph, Shaun Rogers and Marvin Austin at defensive tackle.