Dahl played in 10 games with two starts last season before tearing his anterior cruciate ligament vs. New England on Dec. 29.
“We have been monitoring his progress all along,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. “We brought him in last weekend and we had a workout. He is in excellent shape and he demonstrated that he is ready. He is a guy who has been in our system for a year, a good special teams player and a good player for us and we had the opportunity to bring him back.”
Last year, the 6-1, 207-pounder from North Dakota State overcame the odds faced by all rookie free agents and made the 53-man roster. When Gibril Wilson and James Butler both suffered injuries, Dahl and fellow rookie Michael Johnson were the starting safeties in a victory at Philadelphia on Dec. 9 and the following week vs. Washington. Dahl was the strong safety. He finished the season with 18 tackles (10 solo) on defense and five solo special teams tackles.
Asked what Dahl showed last season to earn a roster spot, Coughlin said, “His athleticism, he has size and speed for a safety. He had a great attitude about working on special teams and he just worked himself into a spot. He was just like all rookies, he was big-eyed, but he grew into it a little bit.”
Dahl, who will practice once a day, returned to the field seven months and a day after tearing his ACL.
“The thing that he did, which is probably a good lesson for everybody, is they held him for probably a month before they did the surgery,” Coughlin said. “They strengthened the leg, the muscles around the knee, the quads. They got the swelling completely down. The surgery wasn’t as traumatic as some. His post operation ability to go right back to work was pretty efficient. I think that is one of the things that has helped him a lot.”
“In my mind, I always thought that I would be ready for camp,” Dahl said. “They took the precautionary measures to release me, because they didn’t know if I was going to be back. They weren’t really expecting me to be back, but deep down, I had the burning desire to be here…playing football again.”
To make room on the roster for Dahl, the Giants waived/injured rookie safety Terrance Stringer of Tuskeegee, who suffered a strained hamstring.