Xavier McKinney

Xavier McKinney Activated From IR

DECEMBER 31: It only took two days into the 21-day practice window for the Giants to activate McKinney. McKinney should resume his starting role next to Love, sending Pinnock back to the bench after five weeks of substitute responsibilities. It’s unclear, though, whether or not McKinney will also resume his signal-calling duties on defense for New York, duties Love took over when McKinney was placed on IR.

To make room for McKinney on the active roster, the Giants waived wide receiver David Sills. Sills has started five games this year at wideout for New York but only contributed 11 catches for 106 yards in nine total games. In addition to those corresponding roster moves, the Giants promoted tight end Chris Myarick and cornerback Zyon Gilbert from the practice squad as standard gameday elevations for tomorrow’s matchup against the Colts.

DECEMBER 29: Xavier McKinney may make a late-season return for the Giants, after all. The young safety will return to practice Thursday, Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post tweets.

The Giants have been without McKinney since their Week 9 bye, during which the starter suffered a broken hand in an ATV accident. McKinney is not expected to play against the Colts this week, but the Giants will get a look to see if he can contribute in Week 18 and/or in the playoffs. In designating McKinney to return from the reserve/NFI list, the Giants will have three weeks to activate him.

A 2020 second-round pick out of Alabama, McKinney has dealt with injuries during his first and third NFL seasons. He missed most of his rookie year because of a broken foot suffered that August. The ATV accident this year has sidelined him for the Giants’ past seven games. With the team being without top cornerback Adoree’ Jackson for much of that span, the Giants’ secondary has faced tall tasks weekly.

Jason Pinnock is expected to remain the starter alongside Julian Love against the Colts. If the Giants beat the Colts, they are assured of a playoff berth — which would be the franchise’s first in six years. Brian Daboll did not guarantee McKinney would miss this matchup, but it sounds like Week 18 is a better bet for a return to action. McKinney’s accident occurred in Mexico. He had pins removed from his fingers earlier this month but will wear a contraption (Twitter link via The Athletic’s Dan Duggan) upon returning.

McKinney has made 28 career starts, breaking through last season with a five-interception campaign. Pro Football Focus has not viewed his 2022 work on that level, slotting him 74th among safeties — behind Pinnock — but the former No. 36 overall pick remains a key part of a Giants secondary that already looked thin before this season’s run of injuries. The team rostered Jabrill Peppers and Logan Ryan alongside McKinney over the past two years; both are now elsewhere.

Giants CB Aaron Robinson Suffered ACL, MCL Tears

Brian Daboll had said Aaron Robinson was unlikely to return from IR this season. Recent news not only indicates that will definitively not happen but points to Robinson missing the Giants’ 2023 offseason program.

The knee injury Robinson suffered in Week 4 was a torn MCL and partially torn ACL, Dan Duggan of The Athletic tweets. Robinson underwent surgery last month and is staring at a nine-month recovery timetable, Duggan adds. While this provides clarity, it is a major blow to a recent Day 2 pick.

The Giants chose Robinson in the 2021 third round, but the regime that selected him is now gone. Robinson began his career late after rehabbing a core muscle surgery, playing in just nine games as a rookie. After being a part-time contributor (two starts) last season, the Giants greenlit a major role expansion for the Central Florida and Alabama product. Robinson emerged as a starter this season, but a September appendectomy and these October knee maladies — sustained 10 snaps into the Giants’ Week 4 game — figures to set him back.

A training camp return seems the best bet for the 6-foot-1 defender. The Giants have dealt with extensive injury trouble in their secondary — one already depleted by the new regime making James Bradberry and Logan Ryan cap casualties — this season, limiting first-year DC Don Martindale. Adoree’ Jackson suffered an MCL sprain last month; the team’s No. 1 corner will miss a third straight game this week. Third-round pick Cor’Dale Flott also missed a chunk of his rookie season. These issues have left the 7-4-1 team’s corner contingent significantly shorthanded; the team has not won any of the games Jackson has missed. Fabian Moreau, whom the Texans cut after training camp, has become an every-week starter for the Giants.

After the Giants cut Ryan and let Jabrill Peppers sign with the Patriots in free agency, they have seen Xavier McKinney run into injury trouble. An ATV accident has sidelined McKinney for the past month; he remains on New York’s reserve/NFI list. McKinney suffered a broken hand and underwent a procedure to have pins removed from three fingers this week, Duggan adds (via Twitter). The former second-round pick again expressed confidence he will return this season but couched that by indicating he needs more time to heal.

Giants S Xavier McKinney Expects To Return This Season

The Giants have been without safety Xavier McKinney for the last three games due to a broken hand that he suffered in an ATV accident during a bye-week vacation. As Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com reports, McKinney is expected to miss at least several more weeks, but he does plan to return this season.

New York is 7-4 and currently holds the sixth playoff spot in the NFC. However, the club has lost two in a row and takes on the division-rival Commanders — who presently hold the seventh and final postseason spot — two times within the next three weeks. As such, Big Blue’s postseason fortunes could be largely decided before McKinney gets back on the field.

McKinney, 23, was selected in the second round of the 2020 draft, and while a broken foot limited him to just six games in his rookie season, he emerged as a foundational player for the Giants in 2021, when he appeared in all 17 games (16 starts) and notched five interceptions. He also pulled down an excellent 75.4 grade from Pro Football Focus, which was especially bullish on his coverage abilities.

His PFF grade slipped to 56.3 over the first eight games of the current season, though his presence is still missed. A team captain, McKinney is also the defensive signal-caller for a unit that was ranked eighth in the league in scoring defense at the time of his injury and which is now ranked 14th in that regard.

The secondary as a whole has been hit hard by injury. In the Giants’ Thanksgiving Day loss to the Cowboys, they were without starters Adoree’ Jackson, Fabian Moreau, and McKinney, and while Moreau is active for the team today, Jackson is expected to miss several more weeks. As Dan Duggan of The Athletic tweets, New York is deploying Nick McCloud and Moreau on the boundaries today, while UDFA rookie Zyon Gilbert — who is making his pro debut — will work as the primary slot corner.

In McKinney’s stead, the Giants first turned to fourth-round rookie Dane Belton for two games before pivoting to Jason Pinnock, a 2021 fifth-round choice of the Jets whom Big Blue claimed off waivers during final cutdowns in August.

Giants S Xavier McKinney Facing Multi-Week Absence

3:30pm: The Giants have placed McKinney on the reserve/NFI list, per a team announcement. That will leave him sidelined for at least the next four weeks; he will require designation for a return, along the same lines as players on IR, which will open a three-week return window.

12:50pm: The Giants just completed their bye week, but the team actually lost a key member of their defense in recent days. Safety Xavier McKinney suffered a broken hand, and will now miss several weeks (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL Network).

McKinney himself tweeted an explanation for his situation. The injury occurred during an ATV accident while he was on vacation. As Rapoport confirmed, this will leave the Giants without one of their top defensive players while they return to action looking to build off of an impressive start.

The 23-year-old has once again operated as a full-time starter on the backend of the Giants’ secondary this season. McKinney has totaled 38 tackles, four pass deflections and one sack while playing every defensive snap to date. A key communicator for the unit, the former second-rounder emerged as a foundational played for Big Blue last year, when he notched five interceptions.

As part of the team’s 6-2 start to the campaign, New York boasts the league’s eighth-ranked scoring defense (allowing an average of 19.6 points per game). The Alabama product has played an instrumental role in that success, but he will now be sidelined with the second notable injury of his career. McKinney suffered a broken foot just before his rookie season began, which limited him to six games played. He logged a full season last year.

In their search for a new partner alongside Julian Love, the Giants could turn to fourth-round rookie Dane Belton as a McKinney replacement. The Iowa alum missed the season opener, but has played a regular defensive role since. Special teamer Jason Pinnock could also be in line for a larger workload, especially with veteran Tony Jefferson on IR.

In need of continuing their hot start to keep pace in the highly-competitive NFC East, the Giants will start their time without McKinney on Sunday against the Texans.

Giants Notes: McKinney, Gono, Cunningham, Bonuses

Xavier McKinney enjoyed a career year in his second NFL season, leading the Giants with five interceptions. The former second-rounder figures to remain a bright spot on the team, but some aspects of the defense under ex-DC Patrick Graham were the subject of remarks the young safety recently made.

In conversation with Steve Serby of the New York Post, McKinney noted a marked difference in practices since the arrival of Graham’s replacement, Don Martindale, particularly in the level of communication between players and coaches. “We didn’t really have much of that these last two years, and that was a big problem,” he said. “That came with obviously a lot of like everything didn’t look organized. Even defensively there were times we played good, but sometimes the communication wasn’t there, and that’s because everybody was kind of on different… it was a lot of different things going on.

“[Under Martindale] we don’t have to worry about making a mistake on a third down or a fourth down or something like that… and I think that’s what we’ve missed obviously the past two years… I think everybody could tell you on the defensive side everybody was so afraid of being the one to make the mistake instead of just actually going out there and playing.”

The Giants ranked 21st and 23rd, respectively, last season in terms of yards and points allowed per game last season – something McKinney will look to help the team improve on moving forward, and which could be made easier with a new voice on the sidelines. Graham is now the Raiders’ DC.

Here are some other notes concerning Big Blue:

  • Earlier this week, the Giants placed offensive tackle Matt Gono on the exempt/left squad list due to an undisclosed injury. It turns out that the neck injury which caused that absence is likely to end his career (Twitter link via ESPN’s Jordan Raanan). The 26-year-old missed all of last season after having neck surgery, so the return of symptoms in practice would make it challenging for him to make his way back onto the field. Scheduled to be the Giants’ swing tackle, his absence could lead to a larger role for 2020 third-rounder Matt Peart, or require the team to find a depth option in free agency.
  • Staying on the theme of offensive lineman, Korey Cunningham will try to earn a roster spot at his natural position, per Dan Duggan of The Athletic (subscription required). The previous coaching staff experimented with a move to tight end for the six-foot-six, 305-pounder, but the new regime led by Brian Daboll will keep him as an o-linemen. The absence of Gono could help him secure a place at the backend of the roster.
  • Earlier this week, Duggan also relayed (on Twitter) that quarterback Daniel Jones and left tackle Andrew Thomas received roster bonuses of $3.2MM and $2.7MM, respectively. 2022 is seen as a make-or-break year for Jones, whose fifth-year option was declined, whereas Thomas could make that same decision easier on the team with a strong performance this campaign.

NFL COVID List Updates

We are trying our best here at Pro Football Rumors to keep up with all of the updates throughout the league concerning players on the reserve/COVID-19 list. A lot of teams had high hopes during today’s testing as they were trying to get players activated in time for Sunday’s slate of games.

Here are updates as of 8:30 PM ET, Sat 12/18:

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: DT Eddie Goldman
  • OC Bill Lazor, DC Sean Desai, STC Chris Tabor in COVID-19 protocols

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: DB P.J. Locke

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

  • Four Coaches in COVID-19 protocols

New York Giants

New York Jets

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Football Team

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/3/21

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Dallas Cowboys

Houston Texans

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

San Francisco 49ers

Giants Activate S Xavier McKinney From IR

Second-round rookie Xavier McKinney looks set to make his Giants debut Sunday. The Alabama product is now on New York’s active roster after a Saturday activation from IR.

McKinney suffered a broken foot in August, and the Giants ended Logan Ryan‘s lengthy free agency stay soon after. Both should be in uniform Sunday. The Giants also activated linebacker Tae Crowder from IR.

The Giants have McKinney lined up as a presumptive long-term replacement for Landon Collins, another second-round pick out of Alabama. Ryan is on a one-year contract, and Jabrill Peppers is signed through 2021 on a guaranteed-for-injury-only fifth-year option. Saturday’s move could allow Ryan to play more at cornerback, though McKinney will likely be eased into action.

Despite the Giants cutting 2019 first-round cornerback DeAndre Baker and doing little to address their edge-rushing need this offseason — a deficiency compounded by the team trading Markus Golden in October — Patrick Graham‘s defense has played well, all things considered. The Giants, who remain in playoff contention despite having the NFC’s second-worst record, rank 12th in points allowed this season.

NFC East Notes: Giants, Cowboys, Parks

The Giants are planning for Logan Ryan to help at cornerback and safety. Joe Judge confirmed Ryan will play multiple spots, and Dan Duggan of The Athletic notes the former Patriots and Titans cornerback is expected to work in a hybrid safety-slot corner capacity (subscription required). Ryan played just 22 snaps at safety — as opposed to 855 in the slot — last season, but late in his free agency stay he began to market himself as a safety. Ryan’s 113 tackles last year led all cornerbacks and would have ranked fifth among safeties. Giants DC Patrick Graham was with the Patriots during three of Ryan’s four New England seasons. Second-round pick Xavier McKinney was set to play this role, but the Alabama product suffered a broken foot. McKinney had surgery late last month and is expected to miss at least two months. But he may well return to team with Ryan later this season.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • Shifting to another team’s safety situation, the Cowboys did not view Ha Ha Clinton-Dix as a starter, Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News tweets. Instead of keeping the seventh-year veteran around as a backup, Dallas cut baitDarian Thompson is expected to start alongside Xavier Woods, but Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram notes cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie, Daryl Worley and rookie Reggie Robinson could see time there if necessary. The Cowboys could recoup $1MM if Clinton-Dix signs elsewhere via the offset language in his contract, Todd Archer of ESPN.com tweets.
  • Players like Josh McCown, Johnathan Cyprien, Dion Jordan and Matt Moore accepted jobs on teams’ practice squads in recent days. But Jon Halapio did not want to play such a role. The veteran center declined a spot on the Giants‘ P-squad, Duggan tweets. The Giants brought Halapio back last week but cut him Saturday. Halapio, who worked out for the Texans last month, is healthy after suffering an Achilles tear in Week 17. Halapio began the past two seasons as the Giants’ first-string center; he started 15 games last season.
  • Aldon Smith collected a $100K bonus from the Cowboys, per Archer. That brings his total in 2020 roster bonuses to $440K. Smith, who has not played since the 2015 season, agreed to a $910K base salary that pays out just more than $40K in per-game roster bonuses. If Smith were to reach eight sacks, he would collect $500K, Archer adds. For 10 sacks, the former All-Pro would receive a $1MM bump. In the event of a less likely 14-sack season, that total rises to $2MM.
  • The Eagles placed Will Parks on IR on Sunday. The veteran safety suffered a hamstring injury that will keep him out up to six weeks, James Palmer of NFL.com tweets. This year, teams can activate players off IR after just three missed games. Though, Parks’ timetable may run into October. The Eagles signed the former Bronco in March.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/6/20

Here are Sunday’s minor moves. The players who landed on injured reserve are eligible to come off teams’ respective lists after three weeks. For 2020, teams can also activate an unlimited number of IR players — as opposed to the two-man max of 2019.

Atlanta Falcons

  • Claimed (from Washington): T Timon Paris

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Claimed (from Dolphins): G Deion Calhoun
  • Signed: CB Torry McTyer

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers