Scott Simonson’s Giants return comes with rough assignment

Scott Simonson is going from the street to the starting lineup.

Two weeks after he was fielding offers to try out for NFL teams, he will start at tight end Sunday for the injury-plagued Giants against the Bears.

First assignment? Help double-team block former NFL Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack, edge rusher Leonard Floyd and the rest of a defense ranked No. 9 in yards allowed per game and No. 4 in points allowed per game.

“It’s a crazy league, and it’s not meant for everyone,” Simonson quipped.

It all worked out as planned for the Giants. If the plan was to be prepared for chaos.

The Giants cut Simonson with an injury pay settlement in September, after he suffered a severe high ankle sprain making a touchdown catch in the preseason finale. Under NFL rules, he couldn’t sign anywhere until Week 8 and couldn’t re-sign with the Giants until Week 11.

At the time of goodbye, the sides agreed to touch base when permissible see if there was mutual fit. The Giants’ top two tight ends — Evan Engram (foot) and Rhett Ellison (concussion) — are out and undrafted rookie Kaden Smith is the only other option on the 53-man roster.

“Nothing was set in stone,” Simonson told The Post. “Oddly enough, it worked out for me in a weird way.”

Simonson played in 16 games for the Giants last season and was re-signed to be the No. 3 tight end because of his blocking and special-teams strengths. He ditched his walking boot after a few weeks in recovery, began running at full speed at seven weeks and dragged local friends out of the house for football drills as his agent surveyed the free-agent market.

scott simonson giants practice
Bill Kostroun

“We were talking with some teams, but I didn’t want to go too soon just for a workout, re-hurt it and then be back to square one,” Simonson said. “I feel good enough to where I can do my job. There’s a mental toughness that goes along with injuries.”

Because the Giants had a Week 10 bye, the timing also allowed Simonson an extra week to reacclimate to the physicality. His playbook knowledge and familiarity with quarterback Daniel Jones are advantages.

“It really helps having a guy that has been here kind of knowing what we do and how we do things,” tight ends coach Lunda Wells said. “He did a nice job while he was out in terms of taking care of his body. He looked a little bit lighter, which is good.”

The Giants rushed for just 23 yards and allowed six sacks against the Jets in their last game, relying mostly on their backup offensive tackles and tight ends. Simonson played more than 31 snaps just once last season.

“It won’t be totally new, but it will be a test, for sure. They are two great pass-rushers,” Simonson said of Mack and Floyd. “You have to fall back on your technique. You don’t want to let the hype of things get you out of your technique because that’s when you end up on their highlight reel. I’m going to be physical and do my thing.”


Receiver Sterling Shepard, cornerback Janoris Jenkins and left tackle Nate Solder all were cleared by an independent neurologist — the final step to exiting the NFL concussion protocol — after Friday’s practice. All three are expected to start against the Bears.

Shepard was cleared to return in Week 9, but experienced a return of symptoms the next day. He has missed six games with two concussions this season.


Quarterback Mitch Trubisky (hip) will start for the Bears. Chase Daniel started in place of an injured Trubisky and lost to the Giants last season.

For more on the Giants, listen to the latest episode of the “Blue Rush” podcast:

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