EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants have waived third-year running back Andre Williams in reaching the 53-man roster limit.
The Giants also announced Saturday that placekicker Josh Brown was put on the NFL’s reserve-suspended list and tight end Will Johnson was placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.
The move with Williams was the most surprising. The fourth-round draft pick in 2014 led the team in rushing as a rookie with 721 yards and seven touchdowns. He was limited to 257 yards as the Giants used four running backs in 2015. He played in all 32 games in his two seasons with New York.
A slimmed-down Williams had 95 yards on 25 carries in the preseason, making him the second-leading rusher behind Bobby Rainey.
“Andre is a guy that played some good football for us,” coach Ben McAdoo said. “We’re going to miss him. It was another one of those really tough decisions to make.”
The move leaves the Giants with five running backs: Rashad Jennings, Shane Vereen, Orleans Darkwa, rookie Paul Perkins and Rainey, who doubles as a returner.
Johnson, signed as an unrestricted free agent, missed the final three preseason games. New York was hoping he would help the blocking at tight end.
The move with Brown was mandatory. The 37-year-old was suspended by the league for the opening game because of a violation of its personal conduct policy following his arrest in 2015 on a domestic violence allegation.
Brown will be eligible to return on Sept. 12, a day after the Giants open their season in Dallas.
The Giants also terminated the contracts of offensive lineman Adam Gettis and defensive tackle Jermelle Cudjo, and waived 15 other players, including wide receiver Geremy Davis, a sixth-round pick in 2015. He played in 10 regular-season games last season.
The release of Davis means the Giants are keeping Tavarres King, who was on the practice squad last year, and free agent Roger Lewis Jr. King caught three of the Giants’ four touchdown passes in the preseason and Lewis had the other.
“Roger and T.K. are two guys that really took a big jump,” McAdoo said. “They hit the ground running in the offseason, made tremendous strides and got better and improved. They pushed each other, along with the rest of that group. There was great competition in that group.”
Also waived were quarterback Logan Thomas; receivers Darius Powe and Anthony Dable; offensive linemen Dillon Farrell and Ryan Seymour; defensive tackle Louis Nix;, defensive end Stansly Maponga; linebackers Brad Bars and Ishaq Williams; cornerbacks Leon McFadden, Michael Hunter and Donte Deayon; and safeties Justin Currie and Andrew Adams.
Offensive linemen Emmett Cleary (finger) and Jake Rodgers (ankle) were waived injured.
Rookie tight end Ryan Malleck was waived off of injured reserve, where he was placed earlier this week.