Nov 142021
 
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Sam Huff, New York Giants (November 18, 1962)

Sam Huff (1962)

Robert Lee Huff, popularly known as “Sam,” an All-Pro and Pro Football Hall of Fame member who helped popularize professional football during its ascendancy in the late 1950s, and the first recognizable personality who played only defense, passed away at the age of 87 on Saturday.

Huff joined the New York Football Giants in 1956, the first year the team called Yankee Stadium its home. He was an offensive and defensive guard in college at West Virginia who struggled in his first professional camp and nearly walked away before being talked out of quitting by assistant coach Vince Lombardi. Huff would quickly become a star as the Giants would win their first NFL championship in 17 years in 1956 on the strength of defensive coach Tom Landry’s new 4-3 defense. Huff was the first true middle linebacker and his #70 became recognizable on the field and TV screens across the country as the New York fans chanted “DEE-FENSE” and “HUFF, HUFF, HUFF.”

Landry said, “Sam was a very disciplined player. The thing that made him so good was that he would listen, and he would do what was necessary to operate our defense. The effectiveness of the 4-3 depends on the defensive team recognizing a formation, knowing what plays can be run from that formation, and then recognizing keys that tell them the likely play or plays to expect.”

Huff said, “It was really simple when you think about it. We’d have the ‘Inside 4-3,’ where the defensive tackle would shut off the middle and the linebackers would pursue to the outside, or we’d go to the ‘Outside 4-3,’ where the tackle would angle outside and I would come up the middle and make a play in there, or catch the play from behind. All the years we played, that’s all I ever did. We got so good at it, it became almost second nature to everyone on the unit.”

Sam Huff, New York Giants (1959)Madison Avenue took notice. After the 1958 season and the “Greatest Game Ever Played,” Huff began appearing in advertisements, which previously had been exclusive to offensive stars. In 1959, Huff graced the cover of Time Magazine, the first professional football player to receive that level of recognition.

The Giants and Cleveland Browns were the NFL’s marquee rivalry during this era. Sam Huff and Cleveland back Jim Brown had a rivalry of their own, as they were the centerpieces of their respective teams units. Typically, whichever player had the better game would have his team on the winning side of the final score. Landry said, “Our defense was not designed specifically for Sam Huff to stop Jim Brown, our defense was designed to stop the offense we were working against. Our defense was based on coordination. Sam was just one of the 11 people who were coordinated. Specifically, the front seven was coordinated against the run. He was just one element in that group. But he got great recognition, which he deserved, because in this particular defense he was stopping Jim Brown, who is almost unstoppable.”

Less than a year later, in October 1960, Huff was the subject of a 30-minute CBS television special hosted by Walter Cronkite, titled “The Violent World of Sam Huff.” The show was groundbreaking as Huff was fitted with a microphone and transmitter in his shoulder pads. The program was a hit and Huff became a sensation.

Sam Huff, New York Giants (December 17, 1961)

Sam Huff (1961)

Despite Huff’s individual success (five Pro Bowls; All-Pro in 1958 and 1959) and widespread popularity, he was shockingly traded to Washington following the 1963 season, ending his eight-year run as the centerpiece of the Giants’ defense. The controversial transaction created a legendary grudge between Huff and then Giants head coach Allie Sherman, who masterminded the move.

Huff exacted his revenge in a 1966 game at Washington. Near the end of the game, with the Redskins leading 69-41 and having possession of the ball on New York’s side of the field, Huff called a time out, unbeknownst to Redskins’ Head Coach Otto Graham, and sent out the field goal team. Charlie Gogolak’s kick extended Washington’s lead to 72-41 and broke two records: most total points scored in a game with 114, and the Redskins’ 72 as the most scored by one team. All of which was intended to humiliate Sherman.

Huff recalled: “While Otto was talking to (quarterback) Sonny (Jurgensen), I took it upon myself to yell for the field goal team to get out there. After the game, Otto took a lot of heat for kicking the field goal and rubbing it in. But that wasn’t Otto’s decision, it was all mine. The 72 points we scored were for a lot of people: me, Mo (Dick Modzeleski), (Cliff) Livingston, Rosey (Grier), and all the old Giants. That was a day of judgment, and in my mind, justice was finally done.”

Huff retired as a player following the 1967 season, but was talked into returning to Washington as a player-coach in 1969 by Lombardi for one final season.

Sam Huff, New York Giants (1957)

Sam Huff (1957)

Ultimately, Huff reconciled with the Giants’ organization and spent three years as their color commentator of radio broadcasts from 1972 through 1974.

Huff played 102 games in a Giants uniform. His 18 career interceptions still rank him tied for 15th in franchise history, two of those were returned for touchdowns. He also recovered 11 fumbles and scored twice on those recoveries. Huff’s nose for the end zone was also apparent on special teams as he scored a touchdown on a blocked punt recovery at Green Bay in 1957.

Huff was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1982, was named to the 1950s All-Decade Team, and commemorated into the Giants Ring of Honor in 2010. He is also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and had his number #75 retired by the Virginia Mountaineers.

Nov 102021
 
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Xavier McKinney, New York Giants (November 7, 2021)

Xavier McKinney – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS HOLD FINAL PRACTICE BEFORE BYE WEEK…
The New York Giants held a light practice on Wednesday at Quest Diagnostics Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. This was their final practice for the rest of the week as the team is on its bye week.

XAVIER McKINNEY NAMED “NFC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK”…
New York Giants safety Xavier McKinney has been named “NFC Defensive Player of the Week” for his performance against the Las Vegas Raiders last Sunday. In that game, McKinney intercepted two passes, including one that he returned 41 yards for a defensive touchdown in the 23-16 victory. McKinney was also credited with seven tackles in the game.

McKinney now joins quarterback Daniel Graham and place kicker Graham Gano as Giants players who have won “Player of the Week” honors in 2021.

HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
The transcript of Joe Judge’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no scheduled availability to the team until next Monday.

Nov 092021
 
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Devontae Booker, New York Giants (November 7, 2021)

Devontae Booker – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS HOLD LIGHT PRACTICES BEFORE BYE WEEK…
The New York Giants held a light practice on Tuesday at Quest Diagnostics Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The team will hold another light practice on Wednesday before breaking until next week. The Giants have a bye this weekend.

The Giants split their roster into two groups on Tuesday. Veterans and player with a lot of snaps on the season went with the strength and conditioning staff. The remaining players went with the coaches for on-field drills.

Bye week-wise, we got the guys in today, reviewed the game tape, talked through a few self-scout things,” said Head Coach Joe Judge before practice. “We’re going to get the guys on the field today. We’re going to split the team based a little bit on where some of the guys’ bodies are at, so we’re going to have the majority of the older guys who played a lot of volume in last week’s game, they’re going to work a lot with the trainers, the strength staff after our walk-through today. We’ll keep a lot of the younger guys out for some developmental work and we’ll do something very similar tomorrow, as well. So, we’ll be on the field a little bit over an hour today total with different plans and then we’ll regroup on the backend for some meetings, continue some self-scout and build in some things going into future opponents.”

RB Devontae Booker (hip), RB Gary Brightwell (COVID-19), WR Sterling Shepard (quad), and TE Kaden Smith (knee) did not practice. Smith did not suffer a concussion as feared in Sunday’s game; he has officially passed the concussion protocol.

RB Saquon Barkley (ankle) and LT Andrew Thomas (foot/ankle) both did very light work with trainers.

GIANTS CUT SAM BEAL…
The Giants have waived CB Sam Beal. The Giants selected Beal in the 3rd round of the Supplemental Draft in July 2018. He missed all of his rookie season when he was placed on Injured Reserve in July 2018 with a shoulder injury that required surgery. The Giants placed Beal on Injured Reserve again in September 2019 with hamstring and groin injuries, but added him to the 53-man roster in early November. He played in six games with three starts that season. Beal opted out of the 2020 NFL season due to the COVID-19 issue. He played in three games this year, but only played a couple of defensive snaps. Overall, Beal only played in nine games as a Giant.

The team also terminated the Practice Squad contract of RB Dexter Williams, who was signed by the team last week.

HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
The transcript of Joe Judge’s press conference on Tuesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice again on Wednesday. Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will also address the media.

Nov 082021
 
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Evan Engram, New York Giants (November 7, 2021)

Evan Engram – © USA TODAY Sports

NOVEMBER 8, 2021 JOE JUDGE PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Joe Judge addressed the media on Monday to discuss his team’s 23-16 win over the Las Vegas Raiders:

Q: What did you find out about your ball club yesterday, if anything?

A: I think it’s a lot more – I’ve said before, too – I think it just kind of reaffirms the things I’ve known about them, how they come to work every week and prepare. Regardless of the results, it’s about going back to the process and doing the things that are necessary for you to have an opportunity to be successful. We talk to our guys all the time about (how) working hard is just part of what comes with it. You’ve got to put in the work on the field and then in the classroom. Doing all those things, working long hours, putting in the physical demand, working actively to rehab your body and get back fresh for the game, those things wear on you over the course of a long season. But you have to understand that doing those things don’t ensure success, they only give you an opportunity for it. Then, it comes down to the execution on Sunday afternoons for 60 minutes. Really, what I see with our guys is a group of guys who are truly a team, they work together, they support each other, they compete against each other, but they show up every week with the intent of being successful together as a team and they put in the work of what it takes to be successful.

Q: Any headset issues yesterday? If not, do you consider that to be resolved now?

A: I’m not going to go into headsets, period, going forward. I’ve had some conversations with the league and basically, I’m just going to go ahead and stay off those issues and make sure anything that happens we do get resolved.

Q: It’s easy to draw the line between (Linebacker) Oshane’s (Ximines) penalty against the Chiefs and him being a healthy scratch yesterday. Was that a discipline thing sending any message there or is it just that he’s been passed over by some other players?

A: No, we just made the move we thought was going to be best for us within the game plan that we had yesterday. It’s as simple as that.

Q: You had three rookies and (Linebacker) Trent Harris up from the practice squad, so what is it that you like about the edge rusher group you have right now?

A: I think the three guys are really developing. Those young guys are really coming around and developing, and Trent has done a good job for us. He’s done a good job for us on defense, he’s done a good job for us in the kicking game. There are multiple roles that come into every game plan and you can only take so many guys into the game, so you’ve got to consider offensive and defensive value along with the kicking game, as well. I think in the kicking game as well as on defense, those guys are all coming around and having value and really developing. X-Man has done some good things for us on the field, as well, but we thought this Sunday was the best move for us within the game plan and what we needed was to have the guys active that we had.

Q: Any plans to make any waiver claims on high-profile wide receivers in the next day or two?

A: We’re always very conscious of who’s available and who’s out there. It’s part of our job, knowing the league and what’s going on, and we talk through all the personnel moves. That would be something we talk about more internally, but I wouldn’t say there’s anything anticipation-wise at this moment.

Q: Do you feel like you’ve gotten through the COVID testing situation or are you still having trouble with that with the positives and things?

A: I hope so. We tested again today in the trailer before reentering. We didn’t do the rapid tests really to finish out last week. We did more of the PCR’s, which are the overnight, delayed responses ones. The league thought that was best for us going into the game. That worked out well for us in terms of getting accurate results. I haven’t heard anything contrary in terms of any results from today, so hopefully, it’s all resolved.

Q: The job description of a head coach, you’ve got to do a lot of things obviously every day. One of the things is benching players, promoting players, deactivating players. Guys play and then they don’t play and then you have to reassess their situation. How do you deal with that on an individual basis? Explaining a guy is not up this game, explaining your role has been decreased and the fact that you have to do that, but you still don’t want to bury the player, especially a young player and maybe later in the season the guy can come up and regain the role that he once had?

A: To me, it’s always just being very direct and very honest with everybody involved and talk directly to the player in terms of what’s their role this week. We had (Defensive Lineman) Danny Shelton down for the Kansas City game. Now, he was a guy that was coming off a bump and a bruise from the week before and he was a guy that was pushing to come on out there or for a couple of weeks before, he was pushing to get out there. But part of the game plan with Danny being down against Kansas City was it was more we wanted more pass rushers up and more cover guys up. So sometimes within the flow of the game plan itself, that may impact the guy. With Danny, because he was coming off, we gave him a little bit of extra time to go ahead and get healthy. But every week, when someone has a chance of being inactive, we want to communicate with them very directly early in the week what their role and expectation for the week is. When they come out of a game and you correct the tape from the week before, what they have to improve on, what they have to do to keep being a factor for the team, and be very direct and honest about what you have to see from them to keep on using them and utilizing them within the game plans. When somebody’s down, we communicate with them. Sometimes you know someone’s going to be inactive early in the week. Sometimes it goes all the way down to the wire. Sometimes we have to have a conversation with a guy on a Saturday morning and let him know there’s a chance you’re going to be inactive this week based on right now where we’re at either health-wise or game plan-wise, whatever it may be. It’s their job as professionals to be fully prepared and ready until the official inactives are turned in 90 minutes before the game, and it’s our job as coaches to have everybody prepared and ready for the game. That’s always something you’ve got to deal with throughout it. I don’t think any player as a competitor wants to be inactive. You get different reactions from different guys. To me, I don’t think you really want to coach any player who’s happy that he’s not being in the game – I don’t think that’s the kind of guys we’re looking for to make up our team. You want to just make sure you’re honest with them all the way across and when you watch the tape from Sunday, you’re honest on Monday and when you make the corrections, they know exactly what they have to fix and what the expectations are. You’re honest as you go through the assessment through the week of what they have to correct from practice or how they’re doing in practice. Are they competing? Are they winning their matchups? Are they doing something that’s going to lead you to say, ‘Hey, if you keep playing this way, we can’t count on you’? To me, the answer is always just be honest with people. It makes everything a whole lot easier. It doesn’t mean people are going to like it, but they will respect it.

Q: One quick follow-up, with young players especially, guys like (Cornerback) Darnay Holmes, (Tackle) Matt Peart, they’ve been in vital roles and they’ve been out of vital roles. What do you really look at in these young guys to see how they handle it if they go in the tank? Because that can happen a lot with these young guys.

A: Again, you just look to see if they improve on what you communicate with them. When anybody has a decreased role, sometimes it’s really through the game plan or the personnel groupings that we’re using, but sometimes it’s due to performance. You tell them exactly what they’re not doing up to expectations, what the plan to correct it’s going to be, what their role in correcting it has to be and how it’s supposed to look when it’s corrected. You look for how they make the correction. Again, I can deal with a lot of personalities. People have different reactions to different things. Some guys get very disappointed, some guys get angry or frustrated, some guys just keep on moving and you can’t tell if it bothers them or not. I always look for how guys work on the field and not just their visible outward reaction to it, but how they’re working on the field to go ahead and improve every week and every day they get. With us, it’s always just communicating to them, and as your role changes, communicate to them why it’s changed in a positive or negative way and then what the expectation is for them going forward.

Q: Are you considering any play-calling changes at the bye?

A: No. No, not at this moment we’re not.

Q: Injury-wise, I don’t want to leave anybody out, but I’m going to focus on two guys. (Tackle) Andrew Thomas, how much confidence do you have that he could be available coming out of the bye against Tampa Bay? And then (Running Back) Saquon Barkley, what exactly is his injury and are you optimistic that he could be back for then as well or what does his timeline look like?

A: I’d say for both guys based on the conversations that I’ve had today with trainers, I’m hopeful that we would be able to have both guys back for Tampa. I think we’ve got to give them an opportunity this week. Saquon’s obviously been out of the building for the better part of a week and that’s unfortunate because it was something he was pushing toward, really getting back on the field for us. We’ll look to get him out there and just make sure we check his conditioning and football movements and all that stuff in the week going forward with it and make sure he’s good to get back on the field. In terms of Andrew, he obviously got rolled up pretty good against the Rams, so he was placed on IR. This would be an opportunity for him to come out of that IR situation and be available. We’ll get him on the field tomorrow and have him do some things with the trainers, in terms of seeing him move around that may open up a window to get him out there a little bit more on Wednesday and do some things in practice with us. Both those guys will be here throughout the week continuing to rehab and progressing. Hopefully, we’ll be able to have both of those guys available. I wouldn’t be able to give you a definite answer right now on the exact timeline, but hopefully, it works out for those guys and for the team that we get them back sooner than later.

Q: What did they ask you about special teams? I came across a stat regarding your starting field position and just the overall special teams performance, the 12 penalties, which I think is the most in the league. I was just wondering; do you see a common thread with the play of special teams? Is it because you had different guys coming in and out or is there just something going on with that group that they are not stepping up and getting the advantage every time, they are on the field?

A: I think number one, you’ve got to eliminate the penalties. You can’t have penalties with the return game. I’d say that’s a factor we have to eliminate to keep that success because when we get the ball in our hands, we’re having a lot of shots for success in terms of the return game and that’s been something that’s been solid for us. In terms of our coverage units, they’ve been playing well all year. I’m satisfied with those guys in terms of it. I’d say in special teams especially, something (I) really learned through going through that element of the game, it’s statistics in special teams can be the most misleading thing in all of football. It’s such a situational play and how you’ve got to play it that the statistics often don’t reflect what you’re trying to accomplish on the play or if it’s a successful play or not, based on how you’re trying to punt the ball or kick the ball, what you’re trying to do within the certain aspect of the return game. Sometimes there may be more of a rush emphasis to put pressure on a specialist and you’re not going to have as much of a return element. Sometimes it’s a return element and based on who you’re playing against, you don’t always get the opportunity for a return based on what kind of ball the punter can give you. That’s what we talk about, being ready and opportunistic in the return game because you’ve got to be ready for when it comes your way. The biggest threat is you have to eliminate the post-snap issues with the penalties. We’ve had a couple that we would want to get back that eliminated some opportunities for big plays for us. That’s something going through the rest of the year we’ve got to eliminate.

Q: How did (Running Back Devontae) Booker come out of the game? He hurt his hip late.

A: He’s seeing a doctor to get the final assessments. A lot of these older guys won’t do a ton this week anyway. In terms of yesterday, he was actually cleared to come back into the game. I know Book was kind of on the sideline itching to get back in. At that point, (Fullback Eli) Penny was running the ball well and we were in a position that we didn’t have to put him back in. They’ll let us know in terms of going forward what it’s going to look like. I don’t have a definite answer on that right now, but he was cleared to come back in the game yesterday, so that’s a good sign.

Q: Did he show you enough in the last two games that when Saquon does come back that you may have to find a role for him on the offense? He was a healthy scratch at one point.

A: Yeah, I think he’s done enough all along and the plan is to have multiple guys who can carry the ball either way. Obviously, Saquon is a large part of our team and a huge part of our offense and we will find different ways to create opportunities for him to get the ball through runs, passes, different ways. Between Book and Penny and (Running Back Gary) Brightwell and (Fullback) Cullen (Gillaspia) and those other guys in the backfield, we feel confident to put them out there. Speaking directly on Book as you asked, I have a lot of confidence in Devontae. He’s done a lot of things that give us the confidence to go ahead and put him in there, and you’re always better off having two guys that can carry the ball and stay fresh out there and keep wearing down a defense. Those two-headed monster teams are tough to face. Obviously, that wouldn’t take us out of finding ways to get Saquon the ball, that’s always going to be a main point of it just as it would for all our other playmakers, but along the way you want to have a lot of depth at those positions to keep playing and have them fresh.

Q: During the bye week, do you simply just look ahead to future opponents or do you give yourself a chance to self-scout for a couple of days?

A: I think self-scout is a critical part of the bye week and look at what you’re doing well and what you’ve got to keep doing going forward. Then also looking at, alright, let’s go through the games that we played. What are some things that we’ve got to make sure that we get right or don’t repeat? A large part of it is the personnel. You’re going to get guys that are going to be looking to come back off of IR, you’ve lost some personnel from earlier in the year. You’ve got to look and make sure that while you have some time you don’t have to focus directly on another opponent. What do we have to do internally to make sure we’re using our players in the best way possible to be productive? The self-scout is a critical part for us. We’ve spent the majority of today doing that. We’ll go through this week with not only talking as a staff and what we can do better schematically or personal-wise going forward but then also talking directly to players. I think it’s important this time of year to talk to each of your players about what are a few things that they can do better and what’s the planned course of action to improve on that? You’ve got to give the guys tangible marks that they can work towards in this part of the year and understand, okay, to be the best player I can be, what do I have to do? You want to get ahead a little bit on the opponents, so there’s an element of the guys we have coming up – Tampa and Philly and those teams – of getting a jump start on from a breakdown standpoint, get your cut-ups ready. But in terms of talking with the team, there’s the combination of you can show them a couple of schemes of things they’re going to see, but then there’s also that element of internal self-scout that we really want to make sure we get corrected.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players return to practice on Tuesday.

Nov 072021
 
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Xavier McKinney, New York Giants (November 7, 2021)

Xavier McKinney – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 23 – LAS VEGAS RAIDERS 16…
The New York Giants’ defense led team to a 23-16 upset win over the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday afternoon in East Rutherford, New Jersey. With the victory, the Giants improved their overall record to 3-6.

Statistically, the Raiders held big advantages in first downs (24-16), total net yards (403 to 245), and net yards passing (286 to 96). But the Giants out-rushed the Raiders (149 to 117) and won the all-important turnover battle (3 to 1). The Raiders were also a dreadful 1-of-6 in red zone efficiency.

The Giants’ lone offensive touchdown of the game came on their first possession as New York drove 75 yards in seven plays to take a quick 7-0 lead. Running back Devontae Booker broke off a 16-yard run on 3rd-and-1, and two plays later, quarterback Daniel Jones threw a perfect deep sideline pass to tight end Evan Engram for a 30-yard touchdown.

The lead did not last long as the Raider too scored their only offensive touchdown of the day on their first possession. Las Vegas drove 73 yards in 10 plays, culminating with a 2-yard touchdown pass by quarterback Derek Carr. The game was tied at 7-7.

After both teams exchanged punts on their respective second drives, the Raiders immediately got the ball back when Jones was strip sacked. Las Vegas recovered at the New York 30-yard line. The Raiders reached the 6-yard line but could get no further and settled for a 25-yard field goal to give themselves a 10-7 advantage.

Both team exchanged punts again. The Giants’ offense finally put together another scoring possession by moving the ball 43 yards in nine plays to set up a 35-yard field goal by Graham Gano to tie the game at 10-10. Unfortunately for New York, the defense yet again this year allowed the opposition to score points on their final drive before halftime. With 3:17 left on the clock, the Raiders drove 56 yards in 10 plays and kicked a 32-yard field goal with less than 10 seconds before the break.

At the half, the Raiders led 13-10.

Momentum began to switch in New York’s favor right from the start of the 3rd quarter. On 3rd-and-7 from their own 35-yard line, Carr threw a pass towards the left sideline that was picked off by safety Xavier McKinney, who returned it for a 41-yard touchdown. The Giants were quickly back up 17-13.

The Raiders scored their final points of the game on their ensuing possession, a marathon, 15-play, 85-yard, 8-minute drive that was halted at the New York 7-yard line. Las Vegas picked up five first downs on this possession, including a 4th-and-1 conversion. Place kicker Daniel Carlson kicked his second 25-yard field goal of the game (and third overall) to cut the score to 17-16.

The Giants responded with a 13-play, 62-yard possession. While it only resulted in a 32-yard field goal by Gano, the drive did take take over six minutes off of the clock and put New York back up by four points, 20-16, early in the 4th quarter.

The Raiders were able to once again drive the field on the ensuing possession, their third of the second half. Las Vegas picked up four first downs and drove 70 yards in eight plays to reach the New York 7-yard line. Carlson was sent in to kick his third 25-yard field goal of the game, but this one he missed wide left. With 9:28 left to play, New York still held a 4-point advantage.

The Giants were able to pick up two first downs before being forced to punt, pinning the Raiders at their own 12-yard line. Three plays later, McKinney picked off his second pass from Carr, this one a toe-tapping, sideline interception at midfield with 5:12 left. Fullback Eli Penny, subbing for the injured Devontae Booker who left the game with a hip injury, picked up 25 yards on three straight carries. The Giants could not pick up their third first down on this possession and settled for a 38-yard field goal to give them a full-touchdown advantage at 23-16.

The final possession of the Raiders began at their own 25-yard line with 3:21 left to play. New York’s bend-but-don’t-break defense made things interesting, allowing Las Vegas to to pick up 52 yards and four first downs, reaching the Giants 13-yard with 44 seconds left in the contest. But on 2nd-and-10, linebacker Quincy Roche beat the left tackle and sacked Carr, causing a fumble that defensive lineman Leonard Williams recovered at the 23-yard line. Jones knelt on the ball one play to bleed the clock and end the game.

Jones was under heavy pass pressure when he dropped back and finished the game 15-of-20 for 110 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions. Only three of his completions went to a wide receiver. He was officially hit six times, sacked twice, and fumbled once. Jones also carried the ball four times for 17 yards. No pass target had more than four catches or 38 yards. Booker carried the ball 21 times for 99 yards before leaving the game with a hip injury. Penny carried the ball five times for 35 yards.

Aside from generating three turnovers and holding the Raiders to 1-of-6 in red zone efficiency, the defense also held Las Vegas to 4-of-12 (33.3 percent) on 3rd down. Carr was only sacked once, but the hit by Roche caused the game-winning turnover.

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

ROSTER MOVES, PRACTICE SQUAD ACTIVATIONS, INACTIVES, AND INJURY REPORT…
On Saturday, the Giants activated LB Elerson Smith to the 53-man roster from Injured Reserve.

The Giants also elevated WR Pharoh Cooper and LB Trent Harris to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad.

Inactive for the game were RB Saquon Barkley (ankle), WR Sterling Shepard (quad), LB Lorenzo Carter (ankle),S Nate Ebner (ankle), and LB Oshane Ximines.

TE Kaden Smith (evaluated for concussion) and RB Devontae Booker (hip) both left the game with injuries. Booker was asked about his hip after the game and he responded, “It’s great. Went back, got x-rayed on it and everything was good.”

POST-GAME REACTION…
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Joe Judge and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

POST-GAME NOTES…
The Giants did not allow a second-half touchdown for the third consecutive game.

The Giants have one of the NFL’s best records in a game prior to a regular-season bye: 22-11 (.667).

The Raiders became the seventh opponent to score against the Giants in the final 1:33 of the first half and sixth in the final 36 seconds.

QB Daniel Jones tied his career-high by completing 75% percent of his passes. Jones completed all nine of his passes in the first half, the first Giants quarterback to do so since Phil Simms in 1993.

The Giants and Indianapolis Colts are the only teams with a takeaway in every game this season.

PK Graham Gano has made 19-of-21 attempts this season.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will address the media by conference call on Monday.

Nov 052021
 
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Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (October 24, 2021)

Sterling Shepard – © USA TODAY Sports

NOVEMBER 5, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
The New York Giants practiced on Friday at Quest Diagnostics Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

RB Saquon Barkley and S Xavier McKinney have been activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 List as it was deemed that both had falsely tested positive for COVID earlier in the week. Thirteen other members of the franchise also falsely tested positive (12 unidentified and OG/OC Matt Skura) and were previously cleared. Only Running Back Coach Burton Burns is currently being treated as COVID positive. Burns will miss Sunday’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders.

RB Gary Brightwell remains on the Reserve/COVID-19 List, but he may also be cleared as early as Saturday.

Not practicing were RB Saquon Barkley (ankle), RB Gary Brightwell (COVID protocol), WR Sterling Shepard (quad), WR Dante Pettis (shoulder/placed on Injured Reserve), LB Lorenzo Carter (ankle), and S Nate Ebner (ankle).

Barkley, Shepard, Pettis, Carter, and Ebner have officially been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders. Brightwell is “questionable” for the game.

Regarding Barkley, Head Coach Joe Judge said before practice, “He’s been out of the building the last couple of days (due to the false COVID test). We haven’t had the chance to see where he’s progressed to and where he’s at physically, so they’re going to take a look at him and move him around and then we’ll see if he can progress and practice with us.”

Limited in practice were WR Kenny Golladay (knee), WR Kadarius Toney (thumb), WR John Ross (quad), and TE Kaden Smith (knee).

Golladay and Ross are “questionable” for the game while Toney and Smith are expected to play.

TE Kyle Rudolph (personal day on Thursday), OG/OC Matt Skura (cleared COVID protocol) and S Xavier McKinney (cleared COVID protocol) fully practiced. All three will play on Sunday.

ROSTER MOVES, INCLUDING DANTE PETTIS TO IR…
In addition to activating RB Saquon Barkley and S Xavier McKinney from the Reserve/COVID-19 List, the Giants placed wide receiver Dante Pettis on Injured Reserve with a shoulder injury that he suffered during Monday’s game.

The Giants also re-signed RB Dexter Williams to the Practice Squad and terminated the Practice Squad contract of TE Jake HausmannThe 5’11, 212-pound Williams was originally drafted in the 6th-round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers. In two seasons with the Packers, Williams played in seven regular-season games with no starts. He has seven career rushing attempts for 19 yards. The Packers waived him in late August. The Giants then signed him to their Practice Squad in early September but terminated his contract three weeks later.

HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
The transcript of Joe Judge’s press conference on Friday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the Giants on Saturday. The team hosts the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

Nov 042021
 
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Xavier McKinney, New York Giants (August 14, 2021)

Xavier McKinney – © USA TODAY Sports

NOVEMBER 4, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
The New York Giants practiced on Thursday at Quest Diagnostics Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The team continues to have issues regarding COVID testing. To recap, 12 of 13 members of the organization falsely tested positive on Tuesday. The only person within this group who received two positive tests was Running Back Coach Burton Burns. He will miss Sunday’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Three additional players tested positive on Wednesday, including RB Saquon Barkley (ankle), OG/OC Matt Skura, and S Xavier McKinney. Skura was cleared as a false positive today, but it appears the team also believes that Barkley and McKinney could be false positives.

The Giants issued the following statement this morning: Bio-Reference Laboratories (BRL) is experiencing an unusually high number of false positives using the Rapid Mesa Test at our facility. With the exception of one individual, all of the positive Mesa test results over the last two days have come back negative through PCR testing. The laboratory is working with experts to determine the source of the problem. The NFL and BRL are monitoring this situation closely. We are temporarily halting the use of the Rapid Mesa Test and administering PCR tests only.

To make matters worse, RB Gary Brightwell tested positive today as well. All of the players were tested this morning, then sent home to participate in team meetings via Zoom calls. Then they returned to Quest Diagnostics Center to participate in practice. “This has been, obviously, a different type of day,” Head Coach Joe Judge said. “We’ve kind of flowed with it pretty well, I think, as an organization. We got the meetings accomplished virtually. It was kind of like stepping back into last season… No one has been ruled out completely as a player at this point (for Sunday’s game).”

Per an earlier Giants’ press release: Vaccinated players and coaches who test positive but are asymptomatic can rejoin their team after two negative tests at least 24 hours apart. If an unvaccinated person tests positive, the protocols from 2020 remain in effect. The player is isolated for 10 days and is permitted to return to duty if asymptomatic.

Not practicing were RB Saquon Barkley (ankle/COVID protocol), RB Gary Brightwell (COVID protocol), WR Sterling Shepard (quad), WR Dante Pettis (shoulder), TE Kyle Rudolph (not injury related), LB Lorenzo Carter (ankle), S Xavier McKinney (COVID protocol), and S Nate Ebner (ankle).

Limited in practice were WR Kenny Golladay (knee), WR Kadarius Toney (thumb), WR John Ross (quad), and TE Kaden Smith (knee).

OG/OC Matt Skura (cleared COVID protocol) fully practiced.

ROSTER MOVES…
LB Benardrick McKinney has been activated off the Practice Squad as a COVID-19 replacement player. S Steven Parker, who was signed to the 53-man roster on Monday and then waived on Tuesday, was re-signed to the Practice Squad.

THE COACHES SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following coaches are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice again on Friday. Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will also address the media.

Nov 032021
 
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Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (August 19, 2021)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

NOVEMBER 3, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
The New York Giants practiced on Wednesday at Quest Diagnostics Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Three players did not practice due to testing positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, including RB Saquon Barkley (ankle), OG/OC Matt Skura, and S Xavier McKinney. All three players will be tested again to determine whether or not these were false positive results.

The team also revealed that 13 members of the organization had tested positive for COVID on Tuesday, but apparently 12 of those results were false positives. Only Running Backs Coach Burton Burns tested positive twice. He is currently under quarantine away from the team.

Per the Giants’ press release: “Vaccinated players and coaches who test positive but are asymptomatic can rejoin their team after two negative tests at least 24 hours apart. If an unvaccinated person tests positive, the protocols from 2020 remain in effect. The player is isolated for 10 days and is permitted to return to duty if asymptomatic.”

Also not practicing were WR Kenny Golladay (knee), WR Sterling Shepard (quad), WR Dante Pettis (shoulder), LB Lorenzo Carter (ankle), and S Nate Ebner (ankle).

Limited in practice were WR Kadarius Toney (thumb) and TE Kaden Smith (knee).

GIANTS ADD TWO WIDE RECEIVERS TO PRACTICE SQUAD…
The Giants have re-signed wide receiver Alex Bachman and signed wide receiver/return specialist Pharoh Cooper to the Practice Squad.

Bachman was waived with an injury settlement in early September. The 6’0”, 190-pound Bachman was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Los Angeles Rams after the 2019 NFL Draft. The Rams cut him before the season started and the Giants signed him to their Practice Squad in November 2019. Bachman also spent two stints on the team’s Practice Squad in 2020.

The 26-year old, 5’11”, 207-pound Cooper was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams. He has spent time with the Rams (2016-2018), Arizona Cardinals (2018-2019), Cincinnati Bengals (2019), Carolina Panthers (2020), and Jacksonville Jaguars (2021). Overall, Cooper has played in 62 regular-season games with nine starts. He has accrued just 55 catches for 506 yards and one touchdown as a receiver. He has also returned 82 punts, averaging 8.9 yards per return and 104 kickoffs, averaging 24.3 yards per return.

HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
The transcript of Joe Judge’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice again on Thursday. The coordinators and select players will also address the media.

Nov 022021
 
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Julian Love, New York Giants (November 1, 2021)

Julian Love intercepts a pass – © USA TODAY Sports

NOVEMBER 2, 2021 JOE JUDGE PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Joe Judge addressed the media on Tuesday to discuss his team’s 20-17 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs:

Q: Obviously, I’m sure you know a lot is going on about this headset issue, so let’s clear up a few things if you could. When you had issues last night, did somebody notify the NFL? Because the NFL is saying that they weren’t notified of issues.

A: Let’s just clear it up real simple. We’ve talked with the league, they’re looking into resolving the issues that we’ve had throughout the year. We’ll talk continuously with them. That being said, I made it very clear last night, I’m not an excuse maker. I was asked a direct question in terms of why you weren’t (calling) timeout in certain situations and that’s the reason. That’s all I’m going to say about the headsets, so beyond that I’ll answer your questions about the Chiefs and moving on to the Raiders.

Q: (Quarterback) Daniel Jones the last drive, that second down play, he takes the sack. Looked like he was maybe able to unload it there. Were you happy with that sack or do you feel he maybe should’ve unloaded?

A: You’re not happy with any sack in any situation. Obviously, in a two-minute drive we’ve got to do a better job all around the board of executing and making sure we put ourselves in the best decisions with plays and executing as best as we can. There had been a lot of plays before that that could’ve led to different opportunities. I’m not going to slice that one down to being the pivotal point.

Q: Your team has passed the test of being competitive this season, but how do you take the next step and learn to win? What does it take to win?

A: People ask that all the time in terms of learning to win. To me, it’s about the execution for the entire 60 minutes. I talk a lot about (how) there have been certain games, last night being one, where we can’t do things that eliminate our chance to have success by eliminating opportunities for ourselves or giving opportunities to the opponent. That’s really what it comes down to, just playing with good fundamentals, good execution, making sure we’re sound in the situations. As coaches, we have to put ourselves in the right call to be successful and then we go out there and we have to execute on the field. It all ties together. There’s not some magic potion, there’s not some motivational speech. It’s about going out there and doing your job for 60 minutes to make sure you do it well.

Q: It looks like you guys stood pat at the trade deadline here. How did the deadline work? How many calls were you guys a part of as far as talks? And why did you decide not to do anything?

A: I think the decisions we made were what we thought was best for the team long-term with where we’re at. Each trade deadline day, you get a lot of calls going around, but we talk about it all the time, today is the last day. You’ve had the opportunities leading up all the way through here to make any kind of roster moves or trades that you possibly could do. You get a lot of calls bouncing around from other teams inquiring about either something they maybe want or something you’d be willing to move, things of that nature. For us, we thought the decisions we made were the best for the team going forward, so we were good with just moving on with (the players that are here).

Q: The injuries last night, do you know any more about (Wide Receiver) Sterling Shepard’s injury, (Wide Receiver) Dante Pettis and even (Wide Receiver) Kadarius’s (Toney) thumb?

A: For KT, I know he got stepped on. It looked like he had a slice in his glove, had a pretty good gash on his hand, but he was able to return and play. I haven’t gotten anything final on that, whether that will be limiting this week or not. It seems like he came out okay (otherwise) on that. In terms of the other guys, they’re actually still in the process of getting looked at by doctors. Like I said last night, hopefully Shep’s isn’t too, too bad. I don’t have a final diagnosis on that. Then, we’ll see what Pettis’s looks like as he comes out, as well. Should have more information on what it’ll be as far as tomorrow or when we get into practice with the team to see if they’re going to be limited or available at all for us.

Q: Following up on the trade deadline, you gave a really interesting answer last week about how you look ahead to future depth charts. Why wouldn’t you make a trade with a guy who maybe is a free agent at the end of the season? Why wouldn’t you try to get something back when it looks like for all intents and purposes with where you are record-wise, you aren’t going to be able to get to where you want to be this year? Why not move on from a guy that is a free agent and get something in return?

A: I think it comes (to) all the information that’s available in terms of what any kind of move would entail. Like I said, every decision we make is what’s best for the team long-term going forward. There’s a number of players we have that are free agents this year. There’s nothing that’s ruling us out from being able to bring players back and continue to be a part of our team. We want to build with guys that are here, want to continue growing with the guys that are here that are established in our program as being team guys, guys that we believe have the skillset and the makeup that can help us be successful in this program as we continue to build. The decisions we make are always what’s best for the team. Are there calls and interest and different things that come up? Absolutely, but as you go through those conversations, you’ve got to consider everything involved.

Q: Big picture, you guys are back home this week and the fan base has grown quite restless. I’m curious going back to your opening press conference when you said you wanted to build a team the area would be proud of, that fans could feel like they can invest their money in the product. I’m wondering if you feel like 25 games in, you’ve done that.

A: Yeah, absolutely. I believe we’re building towards a program that’s going to be very successful for the duration of time. There’s a lot of things that we’re building and doing very well right now that I think we can continue to build on. There are things that we need to keep on correcting. I also talked in the press conference about doing it the right way and that takes time. We’ve got to make sure that we continue working hard and taking a step forward every day, building with the right guys in this program and making sure we continue to do the right things to give us the chance to have success. That doesn’t rule out things we have to correct and improve on as a team, things we have to do better as coaches or players to make sure we go out there and execute and have our opportunities to have success on the field, but we’re going to make sure that this team does it the right way. What I see is a team that goes out there and fights and competes for 60 minutes, comes to work every week intent on having success and playing as a team representing this area with the method of how they play, which is tough, hard-working and sticking it out for 60 minutes. Everything I said – I don’t just say things. When I say something, that’s my word and that’s what I’m working towards.

Q: Those taunting penalties have been a story throughout the league all year. Last night was the first time you got hit with them. What was your message to (Wide Receiver) Collin (Johnson) and (Fullback) Eli (Penny) on that? It looked like they may not have been actually taunting somebody, but they opened themselves up to those calls, right?

A: We’ve just got to understand that you’ve got to handle business the way business is being done. Sometimes, you get in chippy games and you’ve got to be smart and not put yourself in a position where you’ve given them an opportunity to throw a flag. That’s the message right there to everybody, we have to make the right decisions and if you give them an opportunity, then there’s a chance that they could throw something. We have to be better than that.

Q: To have that interception that was overturned by the offsides call – I know you’re not a guy who says the game is decided by one play, but to have that key play overturned by something as basic as that, does that add to the frustration level?

A: I think we just have to keep stressing doing all the fundamental things the right way, and that’s something we can’t have that eliminates an opportunity for us with a big play right there. To me, you move onto the next play when that happens. You have to play the next play and keep making them snap it again and have success that way. We’ve got to finish the game out. Something goes one way or another. Obviously, that was the right call in that situation. Sometimes there are calls that are maybe on the fringe and you may not always agree with, but you can’t sit there and waste your time and complain about it. You have to keep playing the next play. We’ve got to make sure we don’t have those mistakes that eliminate the opportunities. We’ve got to keep working and do a better job of coaching those and do a better job of executing those on the field so we can go out there and be successful.

ROSTER MOVES…
The Giants have waived safety Steven Parker, who was signed to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad on Monday. The team has also terminated the Practice Squad contract of wide receiver Travis Toivonen.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players return to practice on Wednesday.

Nov 022021
 
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Daniel Jones, New York Giants (November 1, 2021)

Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 20 – NEW YORK GIANTS 17…
The New York Giants lost a tough game to the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday night at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. With the loss, the Giants fall to 2-6 on the season.

The Chiefs held most of the team statistical advantages in the contest, out-gaining the Giants in first downs (29 to 18), total net yards (368 to 300), net yards rushing (107 to 72), net yards passing (261 to 228), and time of possession (34:38 to 25:22). Both teams were penalized heavily, the Giants being penalized 10 times for 88 yards and the Chiefs 12 times for 103 yards. The Giants won the turnover battle 2 to 1.

The Chiefs received the ball to start the game and promptly marched down the field 70 yards in 12 plays. But on 3rd-and-goal from the 5-yard line, quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ pass into the end zone was deflected and intercepted by safety Julian Love. The turnaround was short lived, however, as quarterback Daniel Jones was intercepted just two plays later, the ball being returned to the New York 13-yard line. Four plays after that, on 3rd-and-goal from the 6-yard line, Mahomes threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Tyreek Hill. Chiefs 7 – Giants 0.

After both teams exchanged punts, the Giants finally began moving the ball on their third drive of the game. New York marched 85 yards in nine plays to tie the contest at 7-7 when Jones hit tight end Kyle Rudolph for a touchdown on 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line. The big play on this possession was a 50-yard bomb to wideout John Ross. That was followed up by a 19-yard pass from wide receiver Kadarius Toney to fellow wide receiver Sterling Shepard.

Both teams exchanged punts again, but now it was Kansas City that put points on the board with an 11-play, 68-yard possession that resulted in a 3-yard touchdown run by running back Derrick Gore. The Giants responded with an 8-play, 86-yard drive that unfortunately stalled in the redzone. The big play on this drive was a 41-yard pass by Jones to running back Devontae Booker, combined with a roughing-the-passer penalty. New York settled for a 23-yard field goal by place kicker Graham Gano.

Neither team scored on their final possessions before intermission. At the half, the Chiefs led 14-10.

The Giants only gained one total first down on their first two drives of the 3rd quarter, punting twice. The Chiefs also punted once. Momentum began to change on Kansas City’s second possession of the half. After picking up four first downs and reaching the New York 28-yard line, the Chiefs were first pushed back with a holding penalty. Two plays later, safety Logan Ryan forced tight end Trave Kelce to fumble. Cornerback James Bradberry picked up the loose ball and returned it 13 yards to the New York 43-yard line. Eight plays after that, Jones threw a perfect pass to tight end Evan Engram for the go-ahead score on 3rd-and-4 from the 5-yard line. The Giants now led 17-14 early in the 4th quarter.

The Chiefs responded with a 14-play, 57-yard drive that set up a game-tying 36-yard field goal with just under 9 minutes to play. The Giants attempted to regain the lead, picking up two first downs, but were stopped at their own 42-yard line and forced to punt. The Chiefs got the ball back with 4:41 left to play. After a holding penalty, on 2nd-and-20, Mahomes threw a pass that was intercepted by cornerback Darnay Holmes at the Kansas City 34-yard line. However, linebacker Oshane Ximines was offsides on the play. Then on 2nd-and-15, Kelce caught a 14-yard pass and linebacker Tae Crowder was flagged with a bogus 15-yard face-mask penalty, moving the ball to near midfield. The Chiefs eventually reached the redzone, where they settled for the game-winning, 34-yard field goal with just over a minute left to play.

The Giants had one more shot to tie or win the game, but Jones was sacked twice, including on 4th-and-15 to end the game.

Jones finished the game 22-of-32 for 222 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. He was also sacked three times. His leading receiver was Booker, who caught five passes for 65 yards. Booker also ran the ball 15 times for 60 yards.

The Giants’ defense generated two sacks (defensive Leonard Williams and cornerback Keion Crossen), five tackles for losses, forced two fumbles (Williams and Ryan), recovered one fumble (Bradberry), and picked off one pass (Love).

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

ROSTER MOVES, PRACTICE SQUAD ACTIVATIONS, INACTIVES, AND INJURY REPORT…
The Giants signed S Steven Parker to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad. CB Aaron Robinson was activated from the Reserve/Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List. The team also placed LB Carter Coughlin on Injured Reserve with an ankle injury that he suffered in practice last week.

The Giants also elevated LB Trent Harris and LB Benardrick McKinney to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad.

Inactive for the game were RB Saquon Barkley (ankle), WR Kenny Golladay (knee), LB Lorenzo Carter (ankle), S Nate Ebner (ankle), NT Danny Shelton, and S J.R. Reed.

WR Sterling Shepard (quad) and WR Dante Pettis (shoulder) were injured in the first half and did not return. WR Kadarius Toney (thumb) was also injured.

POST-GAME REACTION…
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Joe Judge and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will address the media by conference call on Tuesday.