EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP)New York Giants safety Xavier McKinney has returned to practice after missing seven games with a broken left hand sustained during the team’s bye week.
McKinney, a defensive co-captain, was taken off the non-football injury list on Thursday. There is an outside chance he could play Sunday against visiting Indianapolis. New York (8-6-1) would clinch a playoff berth with a win.
”Man, I want to get back big time,” McKinney said. ”The coaches know that, and the trainers know that. They know that I really want to get back and I’m kind of running out of patience here.”
McKinney broke his hand in Mexico while he was taking a guided tour on an all-terrain-type vehicle. He never disclosed exactly what happened, but the injury required surgery to repair.
McKinney wore a splint on his hand at practice. He said he caught passes thrown at him by a machine before the media was allowed to attend. During the open session, he and defensive back Darnay Holmes played catch, throwing soft passes.
Neither activity bothered his hand, said the third-year pro, who was the Giants’ second-round pick in 2020 out of Alabama.
McKinney had started the first eight games and was fourth on the team with 38 tackles when he got hurt. He has a sack, a forced fumble and four pass deflections. He has great range in the secondary and led the team with five interceptions last season.
The Giants were 6-2 before McKinney was injured, playing the weaker half of their schedule. They are 2-4-1 in the games he missed, but the opponents have been stronger.
”In this league, you’re going to have ups and you’re going to have downs,” McKinney said. ”I’ve been saying that from the jump, though. This league is a roller coaster, so you’ve got to be able to adjust throughout the season. Obviously, injuries happen. We’re going to have our ups and our downs and that’s what happened.”
Dane Belton, Tony Jefferson and Jason Pinnock have filled in for McKinney.
There is also a chance top cornerback Adoree Jackson also may return from a knee injury this week. He has missed the last last five games after being hurt while returning a punt against Detroit.
Fabian Moreau and Cor’Dale Flott have filled in at right cornerback.
”Like I said, we’ve been working just trying to get back out there with our team,” McKinney said of Jackson potentially coming back with him. ”We’ve still been present and been in meetings and doing the little things still, so it’s been good. It’ll be good when we’re both back.”
NOTES: Outside linebacker Jarrad Davis was at his first practice Thursday after being signed off the Detroit Lions’ practice squad.
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