Giants’ Adoree’ Jackson has chance to return against Colts
If Adoree’ Jackson was proving his worth to the Giants on every defensive snap, his absence has made a case that he is invaluable.
There is a chance Jackson returns to the practice field this week and thus gets on track to play Sunday in a virtual playoff game against the Colts, head coach Brian Daboll acknowledged Monday. The veteran cornerback did not participate in any practices last week.
“Adoree’ is making progress in the right direction,” Daboll said. “Where that is, we’ll see by the end of the week.”
Jackson allowed 29 catches for 353 yards and two touchdowns over 10 games matched up mostly in one-on-one coverage against the opponents’ best receiver before he suffered a sprained MCL during a questionable deployment as a replacement punt returner. Sunday will mark six weeks since Jackson was hurt and four to six weeks is the baseline recovery for a sprained MCL.
Since then, the Cowboys’ CeeDee Lamb, Commanders’ Terry McLaurin (twice), Eagles’ A.J. Brown and Vikings’ Justin Jefferson have torched Fabian Moreau, Nick McCloud and double-teams for a combined 36 catches for 484 yards and three touchdowns in five games. All four receivers rank among the NFL’s top-nine in receiving yards (at least 1,092).
Not far off the pace is the Colts’ Michael Pittman (86 catches for 815 yards), so Jackson’s return would be not a moment too soon.
“[Tuesday] is a walk-through, so we’ll see where he is at with the trainers and rehab he is doing,” Daboll said. “Maybe he will be, maybe he won’t, but I think it’s too early.”
Players were off Sunday and Monday following Saturday’s loss to the Vikings, but Daboll is operating on a day-to-day timeline with OLB Azeez Ojulari. That matches the postgame optimism Ojulari shared that his ankle was a “basketball” sprain instead of a more serious high ankle sprain.
“Azeez got treatment the last couple days, and we’ll see where he is at all the way through Friday,” Daboll said. “I think he’s improved from where he was.”
Daboll was less optimistic about S Xavier McKinney’s return from the Non-Football Injury list (broken hand) than he was about Jackson or Ojulari.
Rookie RT Evan Neal has struggled in three of four games since returning from a four-game absence due to a sprained MCL. He has allowed 20 pressures and two sacks on 121 pass-blocking snaps in the last three games. Daboll wasn’t about to single out Neal, especially with backup Tyre Phillips posing no threat of superseding Neal.
“Evan’s improved since he’s gotten here,” Daboll said. “Really, all of us can continue to get better in the things we need to get better in — not just Evan. He’s smart. He’s tough. He’s dependable. He’s done a lot of good things, too.”
Daboll singled out vice president of security Jerry Meade, team security coordinator Jim Ryan and director of coaching operations Laura Young for keeping their coordination in a crisis Friday when several Giants players and staff members were trapped in the locked-down Mall of America after a deadly shooting.
“Being the head coach, you’re concerned about really everybody in the organization, making sure that everybody’s safe,” Daboll said. “I got a message it seemed like every two minutes, an update of, ‘OK, running backs all accounted for. Tight ends, coaches [are accounted for].’ By the end of whatever time it was, L.Y. sent that everybody’s accounted for in the hotel, safe.”
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