Giants Overcome Injury, COVID Adversity Gathers For Big Pre-Bye Victory


The Giants had a short week, following a Monday night loss in Kansas City, and could have brought it in when a handful of players tested positive for COVID-19 or were seen as close contacts and forced out of the game. building for several days.

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Fortunately, they didn’t, and even more fortunately, most of the players involved were able to clear COVID protocols, with only third-string running back Gary Brightwell and running backs coach Burton Burns, who has actually tested positive for COVID, ruled out on Sunday.

Oh, yeah, and they won the game, 23-16, in part thanks to a defensive effort that included a lot of security Xavier McKinney, who was one of the players who ran out of time during COVID protocols.

“It was a long week. Obviously I couldn’t practice these two days, but I was still in a meeting and just tried to stay locked up, ”McKinney said. “Obviously earlier in the week I didn’t really know what was going to happen as to whether I was going to be able to play or not. I just tried to stay locked up throughout the week and follow NFL protocols. “

McKinney is not vaccinated, and when asked about it, he simply said it was a personal choice that everyone had reasons for, and his reasons are for him and him alone. It might sound hard to hear given that this is a team sport – and given what happened with Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay this week – but McKinney has continued to work, even s ‘he didn’t know if he could play on Sunday.

“At first I thought I wasn’t going to be able to play just because I didn’t really know how the rules worked, but I knew my test was negative. I wasn’t quite sure, however, ”McKinney said. “That’s why the week was a bit longer for me because I was in between. am I going to be standing or am I not going to be standing? It was hard to balance, but when I figured out and found out I could play and trained on Friday, I was good to go.

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Devontae Booker, who nearly won a 100-yard running game in victory, is vaccinated but had to wear a mask during his post-game press conference as he was seen as close contact with Brightwell and Burns as part of the runners hall. .

He too was compromised because of this, and while he’s pretty sure, given McKinney’s situation, that he could have played had he not been vaccinated (he is) but that he’s tested negative, he thinks the situation around the building has actually helped the Giants come together a bit this week.

“We really taught ourselves all week to stick to everything,” Booker said. “We’ve been through adversity all week, but everyone did their job at the Zoom meetings. It can be difficult sometimes because you don’t know if the guys are watching, but once we came to practice it all clicked.

Daniel Jones added this notion: “I think it’s a credit to the focus of the group and the guys getting ready despite being out of the building to make sure we were ready to go. Stuff like this is going to happen, it’s about managing it and doing what you need to do. “

And they did, in part thanks to a quick start that included a touchdown pass to Evan Engram in opening practice.

“We just didn’t blink, did everything we were asked to do and jumped through all of the hoops,” Engram said. “Our coaches did a really good job of navigating everything, keeping us safe and doing all of our work.”

Cornerback James Bradberry added: “I think it shows that we are resilient and that we are able to adapt to any situation.”

The Giants also had one last thing to bring them together: the crowd, which was raving all day, especially on the last defensive position which ended with the sack of the icing strip.

“It was important for us, the crowd really got involved in the home stretch and we appreciate it. Don’t underestimate their impact on the game, ”Jones said.

Engram added: “There were some tough times with our fans, but it was good to play good football for them and get a win. The way our defense has shown itself in the last two home games, I think they fed off that. When we are in big situations like this last practice, the crowd was in it.

For now, the Giants have a week off to be healthy on all fronts, and then a week to prepare for a Tampa Bay team that has designs on back-to-back Super Bowls. Then after that, their next home date is a divisive Thanksgiving weekend showdown with the Eagles.

Can Big Blue also count on this crowd fury in three weeks?

Engram has an idea: “As long as we keep putting a good product in the field. “

Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroWFAN

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