Giants have rookie Xavier McKinney 'mentally advancing' while recovering from injury

Scott Thompson
·2 min read
Giants S Xavier McKinney
Giants S Xavier McKinney

A Giants rookie that fans might have forgotten about, second-rounder Xavier McKinney, is still remaining very active during his time rehabbing from foot surgery.

McKinney was a highly touted prospect coming out of Alabama, one the Giants believe is a steal when he fell out of the first round and landed in their laps at No. 36 overall. His safety skills were tremendous, showcasing a hard-hitting frame with the mind of a ballhawk.

But he fractured his left foot during training camp, and it was a tough blow for head coach Joe Judge and the rest of his staff because he had such high expectations this season. His recovery time, though, was around 2-3 months, so McKinney will be back at some point this season, barring any setbacks.

Judge gave an update on McKinney during his Tuesday presser, saying he is “in good spirits.”

“He’s doing a really good job in his rehab. I know the trainers are pleased with the progress he’s making,” Judge explained. “Obviously, everyone is on their own individual timetable, but I do know I see him in the weight room making progress.

“This guy’s in good spirits.”

While McKinney works hard in the weight room, the Giants are making sure his mind for the game is getting better by the day. Judge said that he is engaging very well in meeting rooms and making sure he is studying scouting reports ahead of each week.

This is someone who Judge said could be the “quarterback of the defense” someday, so the mental side of the game will need to be sharp to make that the case.

“He does a tremendous job in meetings, staying engaged, staying up on scout reports for other teams,” Judge said. “We give him some projects internally to make sure he improves his own football IQ in terms of how to look at the other teams — that he’s mentally preparing and mentally advancing while he can’t be on the field for us.”

As Judge said, though, McKinney’s timetable is something that doesn’t have a definitive date. With the injury being announced at the end of August, month three would be the end of November. So there is still about a month for McKinney to return within that expected recovery date.

Until then, he will continue his rehab with the hopes of joining his new teammates on the field for the first time in his career.