The New York Giants signed placekicker Jess Atkinson on Tuesday
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) _ The New York Giants signed placekicker Jess Atkinson on Tuesday, but team officials refused to say whether Ali Haji-Sheikh would be placed on the injured reserve list to make room for him on the roster.
Atkinson said he signed the National Football League contract on Tuesday. The 23-year-old former University of Maryland kicker had a tryout with the team in late August when Haji-Sheikh suffered one of the three hamstring pulls in his left leg that has hampered him this season.
Haji-Sheikh reinjured the hamstring muscle on Sunday in the Giants 23-20 loss to the Green Bay Packers, and he missed a 47-yard field goal that would have tied the game with 1:06 to play.
Giants Coach Bill Parcells said Monday that he would make a decision on Wednesday regarding Haji-Sheikh.
George Young, the Giants general manager, said Tuesday that an announcement would be made Wednesday regarding Haji-Sheikh.
″I’m kicking Sunday against St. Louis,″ said Atkinson in a telephone interview. ″The rest is kind of wait and see. Being a rookie you have to prove yourself every game.″
Atkinson kicked 60 of 82 field goals during his career at Maryland, including 32 of 39 during his final two seasons and a streak of 16 in a row during his senior year. He also made 128 of 131 points after touchdown, including 93 in a row during a span between his freshman and senior years.
The 5-foot-9, 164 pound Atkinson was not drafted by any NFL teams and had a tryout with the New England Patriots this season.
Atkinson’s longest field goal was from 50 yards, which he has made twice.
Haji-Sheikh signed with the Giants in 1983 after being drafted in the ninth round out of Michigan. He had a spectacular first season, hitting 35 or 42 field goal attempts and 22 of 23 PATs.
However, he tailed off last season, making just 17 of 33 field goals and 32 of 35 extra points.