New York Giants running back Sandro Platzgummer is an exciting, under-the-radar player that’s experienced quite the journey in his goal to play in the NFL.
Born and raised in the small town of Innsbruck, Austria, Platzgummer has been playing football competitively since the age of 9 and played with a football program called Swarco Raiders Tirol, where he climbed his way up through various youth teams.
By 2015, he made his debut with his hometown Raiders on the first team. Following a breakout season, Platzgummer was voted "Young Star of the Year."
In 2019, the Raiders went undefeated for the first time in their history and won the Austrian Bowl against the Vienna Vikings, 42-34. Platzgummer had such an instrumental performance in their victory that he was named Player of the Game.
After the 2019 season, Platzgummer decided to take his game to the next level. He joined the NFL's International Player Pathway Program in hopes of fulfilling his dream of playing in the NFL.
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Soon after he entered the program, Platzgummer began to experience some pain in one of his knees, and he learned he had a cyst that needed surgery. During his procedure, the doctor confirmed that Platzgummer had a torn meniscus in the same knee.
Despite the setback, Platzgummer focused on rehab, remained active with the Pathway Program, and eventually regained full health about six weeks after his surgery.
In the 2020 off-season, he was assigned via the International Pathway Program to the Giants, who had him on their summer training camp roster and kept him on their practice squad that season, using a roster exemption.
He was back for the 2021 training camp and managed to record five snaps in the preseason. While he didn't make the 53-man roster, he was signed to the Giants practice squad.
This past off-season, the Giants re-signed him again. This time, however, his roster exemption status has expired, so he will look to hang around in some capacity as he continues his dream to play in an NFL regular-season game.
What He Brings
Standing 6-foot and weighing 198 pounds, Platzgummer doesn’t have the biggest frame for an NFL running back. Despite such, he is a very shifty, fast, and slippery-quick running back that can zip downfield in a heartbeat and juke his way around defenders to gain extra yards.
What’s also quite impressive with Platzgummer’s skillset is his vision and IQ. Platzgummer does a solid job of looking upfield to give himself the time to assess the defensive schemes he faces before putting his rush attack into motion.
This was illustrated last preseason when Platzgummer broke out for a big 48-yard run against the Jets. Once Platzgummer breaks through the hole, his acceleration kicks into gear, and he explodes through it.
Platzgummer signed a one-year deal worth $705,000 this past March. Since he was not guaranteed anything upon signing his new contract, Platzgummer wouldn’t cost the Giants any dead cap money. His cap hit on the year is $705,000.
Since Platzgummer is low on the depth chart for the running back position, it’s hard to foresee him being much more than a depth piece or third-down back for the Giants this season if he makes the roster.
Platzgummer is a versatile athlete that could also be used on special teams as a kick or punt returner. During preseason last year, he received five special teams snaps, all with the kick return and kick coverage units.
He also received some punt return responsibilities during his time with the Raiders, showing the speed and upside as a potential threat on that front.
That all said, Platzgummer has an uphill climb to make the roster. He could find himself on the practice squad again this year with a solid showing, but the competition is steep, and he will need to seize his opportunities.