Canada News

‘It’s a matter of time’

LANDOVER, Md. — He was on the FedEx Field sidelines on Sunday night, cheering on his Giants against the Commanders, counting the hours and days until he is cleared by doctors to chase the first playoff berth of his three NFL seasons.

“I feel like I’m pretty close … I think I’m ready physically … my condition is great,” Xavier McKinney told The Post. “It’s a matter of time, just getting the hand back just so I can at least get it in the cast. So that’s what we’re working towards.”

McKinney was placed on the non-football injury list on Nov. 7 following a freak ATV accident in Cabo San Lucas during the bye week that required fingers on his left hand to be surgically repaired.

I asked him: Is there any chance you’ll be back for Saturday’s Vikings game?

“There’s a chance,” McKinney said Friday. “I gotta get a CT scan next week, so we’ll see. If you were to talk to the docs, the day before, and the day after I got my surgery, I was calling them like, ‘Hey, put me on the field as soon as this is over.’ I wanted to cast it up even with the pins in there. If it was up to me, I woulda been back on the field.”

He is a natural-born leader and playmaker, a captain who wore the green dot and played every snap, and he has been missed dearly during the Giants’ slide.

Giants safety Xavier McKinney hasn't played breaking his hand in an ATV accident in early November.
Giants safety Xavier McKinney hasn’t played since breaking his hand in an ATV accident in November but is hopeful for a return during the team’s playoff push.
Getty Images

And he has missed his first meaningful December since Alabama dearly.

It wasn’t only the hand that needed healing at the beginning.

“I ain’t gonna get into how much, but it was a lot that wasn’t seen, a lot that I ain’t really talk about,” McKinney said. “It was a lot, but I pushed through it. That’s the beauty of life; it’s ups and downs. You just gotta be able to just kinda work around different obstacles. Everything is not always gonna be good, so you gotta learn how to figure out a way to figure it out. And that’s what I did.

“And that’s why I’ve been with my team, that’s why I’ve been in meetings, that’s why been doing walk-throughs, been at the games … it’s just a way for me to figure it out, and I’ve been doing a good job of that.”

I asked McKinney if any part of him was upset with himself.

“Nah, not really,” he said. “The incident that happened: It was so freakish; it coulda happened to anybody. I could have been driving, and I coulda got into a wreck. Somebody coulda hit me. It’s a lot of different things that could happen, so it is what it is, and just move past it.”

But moving past it is easier said than done for True Blue Giants.

“Knowing that I wasn’t gonna be able to play with my team for however many weeks, that was the biggest thing for me,” McKinney said. “Just ’cause I knew how much we had built, just dating back all the way to OTAs, to camp, knowing what we built as a team, as a group, as an organization as a whole, that part was tough for me.”

McKinney was named team captain for the Giants prior to the 2022 season, and has started 28 of 31 appearances since being drafted 36th overall in 2020.
McKinney was named team captain for the Giants prior to the 2022 season and has started 28 of 31 appearances since being drafted 36th overall in 2020.
Getty Images

The Giants were 6-2 when they lost McKinney. It is not lost on him that the Giants were 6-10 and 4-13 in his first two NFL seasons under Joe Judge. He was one of the young rising stars helping change the culture and bringing the Giants back.

“That’s what hurt me the most,” McKinney said, “just because I know I’ve been a part of that. It was a lotta … just a lotta different thoughts going through my head. Things happen, and just gotta figure a way to get past it.”

Family members helped him figure a way to get past it.

“But a lot of times, honestly, I could deal with a lot of things on my own. … I’ve been pretty good with that pretty much my whole life,” McKinney said. “Kinda just sitting back and gathering all my thoughts, kinda think about what I could do going forward, and how I can get better. And then work from there. I don’t dwell too much on things. I know I gotta keep going, I gotta keep working, that’s kinda how I am, that’s how I’ve been all my life, with football that’s how I am.”

McKinney knew he needed to intercept Woe Is Me as quickly as possible.

“I knew that my team still needed me, I knew my coaches still needed me,” McKinney said, “so just kinda let it breeze by and keep going.”

McKinney tackles Green Bay Packers' receiver Randall Cobb during ta game played at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on October 9, 2022 in London, England.
McKinney tackles Green Bay Packers receiver Randall Cobb during a game played at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on October 9, 2022, in London, England.
DeFodi Images via Getty Images

McKinney fractured his foot in his rookie training camp and played only the last six games of the season.

“Any injury sucks,” he said.

Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale is understandably eager to welcome back McKinney and Adoree’ Jackson.

“I ain’t never been around a DC that was always in attack mindset no matter what,” McKinney said.

Julian Love has worn the green dot during McKinney’s absence.

“I knew there was not gonna be no falloff,” McKinney said. “He’s a great captain for this team, great leader for this team. Nobody was worried about that part of it.”

No one could have imagined the Giants in a playoff race in Year 1 of a rebuild under rookie head coach Brian Daboll.

“He’s so transparent with everybody,” McKinney said. “He’s a really good dude just to be around. You could talk to him about whatever. He listens. He’s a players’ coach, and we love him. When you got a leader like that, it’s always easy to follow his lead and go out there and play for him.”

Soon, and not a minute too soon, finally, Xavier McKinney will be back playing for Daboll and the Giants.

Source link

Denial of responsibility! Today is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button