The New York Giants, today, released tight end Jake Ballard, who tore his ACL in February’s Superbowl victory. Ballard was placed on the waived/injured list by the club some two months after undergoing microfracture surgery on his injured knee. Because the injury occurred so late in the 2011 NFL season, Ballard is not expected to play this year.
The move is one made to free up a roster slot and limited salary cap room for the Giants. It’s unlikely that any club will put in a claim on a player not expected to participate in the 2012 season. If Ballard is unclaimed, he will be sent directly to New York’s 2012 Injured Reserve list and have the full year to rehab in an attempt to rejoin the club in time for the 2013 opener.
According to Ballard, he understands the move. His twitter feed @NYG_J_Ballard85 reads “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 had a career-best season in his second year in the NFL. He played in 14 games for the Giants, including 13 starts. He caught 38 balls for 604 yards and four touchdowns. In the Superbowl, Ballard caught 2 passes for 10 yards before injuring his left knee early in the fourth quarter.
Fantasy Factor: Ballard actually finished the 2011 season as the 17th ranked tight end, but obviously holds no value for 2012. He should be ignored in all fantasy formats until his knee is fully recovered.