Xavier McKinney set to join Logan Ryan in Giants’ secondary

Xavier McKinney set to join Logan Ryan in Giants’ secondary

A potentially disastrous injury ultimately made the Giants stronger for their playoff push.

Despite months of negotiations during the offseason, the Giants didn’t sign free-agent safety Logan Ryan until rookie second-round pick Xavier McKinney fractured his foot, creating a huge hole in the defense.

A post-surgery McKinney is on the verge of returning from injured reserve — he looked smooth jumping for the ball at Wednesday’s practice — and the two could be playing side-by-side Sunday against the Bengals.

“I’m confident in any role the team asks of me — whatever position that may be — and I think it’s his job to do what the team is asking of him,” Ryan said. “There are no egos about that.”

Ryan mostly has been used in the post to read quarterbacks, but he has played perimeter and slot cornerback in his career. Add strong safety Jabrill Peppers to the mix and defensive coordinator Patrick Graham could get creative with his nickel and dime packages.

Xavier McKinney
Xavier McKinneyAP

Ryan referred to McKinney as “Weapon X.”

“We have a lot of versatile players,” Ryan said. “We’re getting healthier, we’re getting better, and I’m excited to see how it unfolds. Pat Graham’s job is to stay up late and design those defenses, but you can never have too many good players on the field.”

The Patriots used a three-safety rotation of Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon and Patrick Chung as chess pieces during their most recent three Super Bowls. Ryan and Graham experienced it first-hand.

“My biggest strength is the ability to disguise … and to make the players’ jobs around me easier with what we do pre-snap,” Ryan said. “When you have success with it and you see some quarterbacks struggle, you buy into it more. It’s an addiction. We’re becoming really good at it really quickly.”


Cornerback James Bradberry is excused from two practices this week to tend to a family matter, according to the team. He is expected back Friday, which would be his only time on the field with teammates since beating the Eagles on Nov. 22.

Given his Pro Bowl-caliber play and the drop-off after him on the depth chart, Bradberry might be the most irreplaceable Giant.


Right guard Kevin Zeitler suffered a concussion against the Eagles but returned as a full participant without an injury-designated pinny, meaning he cleared the protocol after the bye week.


Giants scout team players of the week (from practices leading up to the Eagles game) were recognized Wednesday by wearing a black jersey with the number of a Ring of Honor member of their choosing.

No. 16 Frank Gifford for QB Colt McCoy, No. 76 Chris Snee for OL Chad Slade, No. 75 George Martin for DL David Moa, No. 56 Lawrence Taylor for OLB Carter Coughlin and No. 7 Mel Hein for CB Jarren Williams.


Judge called select newly added Giants season-ticket holders to thank them for signing up.

“What gets lost in the shuffle sometimes is the connection we have with the fans,” Judge said. “That, to me, is critical for our team. There is a lost element of this game with having empty stadiums.”

It did not take any arm-twisting from marketing to get Judge’s help.

“This has been a very tough year around the country for a lot of people,” Judge said. “The fact we have people willing to invest their own hard-earned money in this time into us, it’s important they understand we’re invested in them as well.”


Source : Ryan Dunleavy Link

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