New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams (99) yells to...

New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams (99) yells to fans before the start of an NFL football game against the Washington Commanders, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) Credit: AP/Patrick Semansky

For Leonard Williams, the playoffs have been a very long time coming. Getting there, for a player who started his career with the Jets will be special. 

“It means a lot to me,” Willams said. “I’m in year eight, it’s obviously been a long time in the league to not go to the playoffs. That’s been a very tough part of my career and it would mean a lot to me to be able to go with these guys that I’ve been grinding with for the last few years.” 

Williams returned from injury to play against Washington on Sunday night. He said Tuesday that he isn’t over the injury but will be on the field at Minnesota.  

“I’m not 100 percent, definitely was banged up a little bit,” he said. “I feel like that’s the majority of the league right now and that’s what we harp on a lot. About it being December football, we know how much of a tough person and player you have to be to keep going near the end of the season like this, because the majority of the league is banged up. [But] it’s not an excuse, it’s not anything like that.” 

The Giants’ official injury report following their Tuesday afternoon walk-through practice: 

Did not participate: Adoree’ Jackson (knee), Shane Lemieux (toe). 

Limited participation in practice: Kayvon Thibodeaux (elbow), Evan Neal (shoulder), Nick Vannett (shoulder), Williams (neck). 

The players listed as limited participation are all expected to play Saturday at Minnesota. 

Coach Brian Daboll said “we’ll see” when asked if CB Jackson might be available vs. Minnesota’s Justin Jefferson.  

Daboll said safety Xavier McKinney will not play this week. 

Crowder released

The Giants released third-year linebacker Tae Crowder.  The 255th and last selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, Crowder played in 41 games with 31 starts for the Giants. He started the first eight games this season. On Dec. 4, after receiving no defensive snaps in the first Washington game, Crowder tweeted: “Free me.” 

Crowder’s departure likely signals that Landon Collins, on the field for 27 plays Sunday night, will rejoin the active roster. Collins was active and appeared spry against his former team. Collins recorded three tackles. He could be a help in stopping the run, where the Giants have struggled. “I thought he did some good things last week, Daboll said of Collins.

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