Giants Lose 2nd-Year LB to Injury, Activate Former Pro Bowler in His Place

Giants place Carter Coughlin on IR

Getty Linebacker Carter Coughlin #49 of the New York Giants tackles running back D'Ernest Johnson #30 of the Cleveland Browns.

The New York Giants have lost yet another linebacker and more importantly, a core special teams contributor, to injury. Among of slew of roster moves ahead of Monday Night’s tilt against the Kansas City Chiefs, the team announced that second-year pro Carter Coughlin has been placed on injured reserve. The former seventh-round pick, who leads the Giants in special teams tackles (h/t Giants Wire’s Dan Benton), suffered an ankle injury in Thursday’s practice. 

Coughlin joins fellow linebacker Blake Martinez on IR. However, unlike Martinez, Coughlin’s injury isn’t expected to be season-ending. He will miss a minimum of three games and will be eligible to return to action on November 28th against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Giants will also be without outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter against the Chiefs, who has been ruled out with an ankle injury.

Giants Promote 2 Linebackers

To help bolster their ailing second line of defense, the team elevated linebackers Trent Harris and Benardrick McKinney from the practice squad. Harris has not appeared in a regular-season game with the Giants this season. He did log 0.5 sacks and five tackles in limited action with the team in 2020. As for McKinney, he gets the call up to the active roster for the second consecutive week.

The former Pro Bowler racked up two tackles on 11 defensive plays in his Giants debut against the Carolina Panthers in Week 7. He is expected to continue to see an uptick in usage the more he gets accustomed to Patrick Graham’s defensive scheme. Originally signed on October 19th, McKinney has three 100-plus tackle campaigns under his belt as well as a second-team All-Pro nod in 2018.

“The way he takes notes, the way he checks back on things, the questions he asks are very in-tune,” head coach Joe Judge said of McKinney. “The communication he has with the guys sitting next to him, making sure he’s around guys he’s going to be communicating with on the field. He brings an intensity to practice that showed up in the game last week. That’s something you really like. Obviously, I’ve known this guy through the league playing against him and competing against him. Having him on your side, you can see the success he’s had and why it happens. This guy prepares extremely well, and he goes out there and he plays freely because he’s prepared.”

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Steven Parker Signed Off P-Squad, Aaron Robinson Set for Debut

The Giants linebacking corps isn’t the only position group primed to flaunt some new faces on Monday night. With starting safety Jabrill Peppers done for the season with a knee injury, the team signed defensive back Steven Parker off the practice squad. Furthermore, cornerback Aaron Robinson was activated off the reserve/physically unable to perform list.

The 6-foot-1-inch, 193-pound Robinson was the Giants’ third-round draft choice in 2021 but has occupied the PUP list since the start of training camp with a core muscle injury. The UCF product is expected to compete for snaps in the slot with second-year pro Darnay Holmes — a role the Giants have struggled to fill since Rodarius Williams went down with a torn ACL.

“He’s a physical corner, he really is,” Judge said of Robinson. “Physicality comes into how you tackle but then also how you can play on the line of scrimmage with hands and really go ahead and be disruptive. He does a good job of that. He’s one of those guys when you watch him from across the ball, he doesn’t blink much pre-snap. He’s always looking into it, he’s anticipating moves. Physically, this guy’s got a pretty good skillset.”

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