The Giants thought safety Xavier McKinney would make an immediate impact on their defense. Any such effect will now have to wait.
The second-round pick will miss at least the first part of his rookie season after undergoing surgery to repair a fracture to his left foot on Wednesday. While the injury is not expected to be season-ending, it will certainly sideline McKinney for 2-3 months and leave the Giants with a hole to fill.
“Look, we’re still looking forward to getting him back out there on the field,” Joe Judge said, adding that there are two different timelines depending on the extent of the procedure.
The Giants announced the injury and surgery on Wednesday, saying foot specialist Dr. Martin O’Malley would perform the procedure at Hospital for Special Surgery on Wednesday afternoon. McKinney had been dealing with the injury for about a week. He was held out of last Friday’s scrimmage because of it, but had been practicing right through Tuesday night’s workout.
McKinney’s injury was one of two to surface on Wednesday. The team also announced that veteran LB David Mayo will have surgery on Thursday to repair the meniscus in his left knee. Mayo was with the team on the sideline during Wednesday’s practice at MetLife Stadium. Depending on the extent of his surgery, he may be able to return as soon as 3-4 weeks.
The loss of McKinney is another blow to a secondary that has lost presumed starters to myriad issues. Cornerback DeAndre Baker is on the commissioner’s exempt list facing four felony armed robbery charges in Florida and Sam Beal opted out of the season over concerns regarding coronavirus.
“Any injury to anyone on our roster is a hit to us because we care about every player on our roster,” Judge said. “But it’s our responsibility to have everyone developed and make sure the next man is ready to go.”
Notes & quotes: The Giants practiced in MetLife Stadium on Wednesday, and while the players went at walk-through speed the coaches were ironing out their system of communicating throughout the building. “The exercise was to build the communication from the booth down to the field, from me to the coordinators and position coaches, and making sure we just get a feel for talking to each other,” Judge said. “That’s something we can’t take for granted. If we had done this on gameday the first time, we would find out the hard way that there are certain levels of communication we have to really practice as a coaching staff” . . . Devante Downs returned to practice after missing Tuesday but Ryan Connelly was sidelined again having not practiced since last Thursday. Both inside linebackers will be called on to help fill the role of Mayo as he recovers from his surgery.