Very few second-round draft picks have been hyped up quite like New York Giants rookie safety Xavier McKinney. Shortly after Big Blue secured the former Alabama standout, three-time Super Bowl-winning General Manager, Charley Casserly, pegged him as the single best selection in the entire 2020 NFL Draft. CBS Sports’ Bryant McFadden, who won two Super Bowls of his own back in his playing days with the Pittsburgh Steelers, took things a step further. McFadden predicted McKinney would not only win Defensive Rookie of the Year, but also make a Pro Bowl and All-Pro team.
Unfortunately for McKinney and Giants faithful, those lofty expectations will now be put on the backburner following a fractured left foot which led to surgery on Wednesday. While losing McKinney is a massive blow to an already questionable Giants secondary, the rookie took to Twitter to brush off the injury as a “minor setback.”
Channeling his inner-Mamba Mentality, McKinney vowed for a “major comeback,” accompanying his tweet with a 23-second clip of the Black Mamba himself, Kobe Bryant, spewing copious words of wisdom.
— Xavier McKinney (@mckinney15__) August 27, 2020
McKinney Expect Back Sooner Rather Than Later?
Upon initial word of McKinney’s injury, many deemed the rookie’s season over before it ever started. Yet, since then, the outlook has been much more positive. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported on Wednesday that the injury is not season-ending, but will likely sideline McKinney for two to three months.
Less than 24 hours after Garafolo’s initial take, ESPN’s Jordan Raanan doubled down on that sentiment. Raanan noted that the hope is McKinney could return following the team’s Week 11 bye, which takes place in late November and is approximately three months after his surgery.
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Joe Judge Speaks on the Loss of McKinney
Giants head coach Joe Judge spoke with the media on Wednesday to discuss McKinney’s injury prior to the safety’s injury timetable getting out. Rather than jumping to conclusions, Judge focused on what he and McKinney can control at the moment.
“You don’t want to see any player get hurt,” Judge said. “It’s a part of the game. Injuries do happen. These guys play a collision sport, there’s a lot of wear and tear on their bodies. Xavier is a guy for us who’s making a tremendous amount of improvement. Look, we’re still looking forward to getting him back out there on the field. I’m not a doctor, I don’t have that timetable. I’m going to let those guys handle that. My only concern at this point is that he continues to work as hard as he can to get back on the field, and that we continue to develop him as a coaching staff, mentally, that he makes progress within the situational awareness and overall understanding of our schemes and the league tendencies in his time off the field.”
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