The New York Giants signed Dwayne Hendricks, a 2004 Millville High School graduate who was a two-time Press All-Star, off their practice squad and added him to their active roster Saturday.
The 6-foot-5, 305-pound defensive tackle will be eligible to make his regular-season NFL debut today when the Giants (3-2) host the Buffalo Bills at 1 p.m. in East Rutherford (DirecTV channel 704 and on CBS in New York viewing market).
Hendricks will wear No. 74.
Hendricks was undrafted out of the University of Miami and first signed with the Giants as a free agent in 2009. He has been on the Giants' practice squad for parts of three seasons but had never before been on their 53-man roster.
He was on coach Tom Coughlin's practice squad for the last 10 weeks of the 2009 season, the last seven weeks of the 2010 season and the first five weeks this season.
Hendricks played in all four Giants preseason games this year, including a start in the finale at New England, a game in which he had five tackles (four solo), one sack and a forced fumble.
In his college career, Hendricks played in 32 games with 13 starts and recorded 57 tackles and 2.5 sacks. As a senior at Miami, he played in 12 games with 10 starts at right defensive tackle.
As a senior at Millville, Hendricks made 65 tackles, 15 tackles for losses and 4 sacks.
Hendricks' promotion came days after Giants defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy was suspended by the NFL for four games for testing positive for performance-enhancing substances. Kennedy's suspension will end Nov. 14, one day after the Giants play the 49ers in San Francisco.
The Giants' defensive line also will be without star end Justin Tuck, who has neck and groin injuries, today against Buffalo.
Throughout this week, there had been speculation that the Giants would sign Hendricks off the practice squad. Coughlin, however, said Friday that the idea of signing someone off the practice squad to fill the roster vacancy would be "a reach, but we will see."
And an injury to another Giants player further complicated the situation.
Pro Bowl long-snapper Zak DeOssie suffered a concussion in last Sunday's loss to Seattle. The Giants might have signed a long-snapper from outside the organization to fill Kennedy's roster spot, rather than promote Hendricks, if it appeared DeOssie would not be able to play against Buffalo today.
DeOssie was listed as questionable, meaning its 50-50 whether he will play, on the Giants' official injury report.
However, DeOssie practiced Friday and Coughlin said he was optimistic that DeOssie would play today.