Giants Expected to add Former Pro Bowl LB: Report

Benardrick McKinney

Getty The New York Giants are expected to sign former Pro Bowl linebacker Benardrick McKinney to their practice squad.

Following another embarrassing 38-11 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in Week 6, the New York Giants are bringing in some outside help to plug a major hole on their struggling defense.

According to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, the Giants intend to sign linebacker Benardrick McKinney to their practice squad. As Rapoport went onto note, New York plans to elevate him to the active roster as soon as he becomes acclimated with the system.

Although McKinney had several other teams interested in his services, he felt the Giants were the right fit, per Rapoport.

McKinney was drafted by the Houston Texans in the second-round of the 2015 NFL draft. He went onto become a solid starter at inside linebacker on the Texans’ defense, making second-team All-Pro in 2016 and a Pro Bowl appearance in 2018.

The soon-to-be 29-year-old recorded 530 tackles, 35 tackles for a loss and 11.5 sacks across six seasons for the Texans where he played in 80 games (77 starts).

Unfortunately, McKinney suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in October of 2020, which required surgery. As a result, the Texans traded him, along with a 2021 seventh-round pick to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for defensive end Shaq Lawson and a 2021 sixth-round choice in the offseason.

But McKinney was released by the Dolphins at the end of training camp on August 31, and has been a free agent ever since.

The Giants’ defense has gotten off to an abysmal start to the season, allowing a total of 177 points (29.5 points per game) across their first six contests.

New York also lost captain and inside linebacker Blake Martinez for the year in Week 3 due to a torn ACL.

Now, after surrendering 82 points combined in the last two weeks to the Dallas Cowboys and Rams, the Giants are hoping McKinney can come in and give them some production as a stop gap at the linebacker position.

After Martinez went down, this left Tae Crowder and Reggie Ragland to fill the void. But Martinez has proven to be irreplaceable thus far, and the hope is McKinney can provide some sort of boost to a unit that has been a major disappointment throughout the first six games of the year.

Judge Still has Hope

In the wake of their latest brutal loss on Sunday, October 17, Giants head coach Joe Judge stood at the podium after the game and talked about the importance of staying patient.

“We’ve got things we’ve got to improve on. When we come back on Wednesday, it’s time to get going to work. Get your bodies right, get your minds right. We’re not going to be licking our wounds around here. There’s a lot of ball left to be played,” Judge told reporters. “Our goal every week is to go 1-0. Our goal is to get better as a team as the season progresses. That goal doesn’t change.

“You talk about the big picture — the big picture is the little picture, that’s next week. The big picture is how we handle next week, how we practice, how we improve, how we prepare and how we come out and we execute. That’s where our focus has to be seven days from now. We’ve got seven days to get ready for another good opponent coming in here and that’s where our focus has to be.”

Although Judge continues to keep his composure, it doesn’t change the fact that the Giants are 7-15 since he took over at the helm. It is obvious that the Giants have taken a major step back under Judge’s staff, despite finishing 5-3 last season.

New York has gotten off to a 1-5 start in each of Judge’s first two seasons as head coach. Not to mention, they have been decimated by injuries this year and their schedule remains tough for the next four weeks.

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Giants Spoil Another Ceremony

The Giants already spoiled Eli Manning’s Ring of Honor ceremony in Week 3 with a 17-14 loss to the Atlanta Falcons at home.

On Sunday against the Rams, they one-upped themselves on the day where they were set to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of their Super Bowl XLVI team.

Instead, this remembrance was overshadowed by a 25-point deficit at half time, which came along with a shower of boos from the fans.

And rightfully so, as the Giants have a 19-51 record since the start of the 2017, which is the worst mark in the NFL. Since winning Super Bowl XLVI, they’ve endured two winning seasons and one playoff appearance over the course of the last decade.

The dark times have continued in East Rutherford with no light at the end of the tunnel. And the fans have run out of patience.


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