The New York Giants are preparing for a crucial matchup with the Minnesota Vikings in Week 16. The Giants are entering this game shorthanded in the secondary. Starting cornerback, Adoree’ Jackson will be out for the fifth game in a row after injuring his knee in Week 11 (per Dan Salomone). New York will also be without starting safety Xavier McKinney who is still stuck on the Non-Football Injury List with a broken hand. With the postseason just around the corner, Big Blue will need unsung heroes in the secondary to step up against Justin Jefferson and the Vikings on Christmas Eve if they want to clinch a playoff berth.
New York Giants Week 16 injury update
The New York Giants have ruled out two players ahead of their Week 16 matchup with the Minnesota Vikings. Cornerback Adoree’ Jackson and left guard Shane Lemieux were both ruled out on Thursday. Lemieux was ruled out with a toe injury that has plagued him all season long. Jackson is still recovering from the knee injury suffered on a Week 11 punt return against the Detroit Lions.
The Giants had four players listed as limited participants in Thursday’s practice, but all four of those players are expected to play on Saturday. Evan Neal, dealing with a shoulder injury, is expected to play, in addition to his first-round draftmate, Kayvon Thibodeaux, who is dealing with an elbow injury suffered in Week 15. “Big Cat” Leonard Williams will also play on Saturday despite dealing with a neck injury that has nagged for a few weeks now. The Giants also added wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins to the injury report as he is dealing with a calf injury. Hodgins, however, was a full participant in practice and is expected to make the start on Saturday.
The New York Giants’ lack of depth in the secondary could spell trouble on Christmas Eve. The Minnesota Vikings possess one of the NFL’s most dynamic receiving threats in Justin Jefferson. Jefferson has totaled a league-high 111 receptions with 1,623 yards and seven touchdowns this season, Jefferson was recently named a Pro Bowl selection as the 2020 first-round pick is having himself the best season of his career. Jefferson is averaging a league-leading 115.9 yards per game this season. The Giants are going to have a tough time slowing Jefferson down with cornerbacks Fabian Moreau and Nick McCloud starting on the outside.
Taking a look across enemy lines, the Minnesota Vikings are also dealing with a couple of injuries this week. Starting center, Garrett Bradberry will be out on Saturday with a back injury. Linebacker Eric Kendricks is also questionable to play. Bradberry’s absence on the offensive line should spring big days out of Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams. Saquon Barkley could also be in line for a big performance if he does not have to worry about dealing with Kendricks at the second level.
The Giants are on the brink of a playoff berth. With a win over the Vikings in Week 16, and a little bit of help from either the Seattle Seahawks or the Detroit Lions, the Giants could clinch their first playoff spot since 2016. However, earning a win over the Vikings is easier said than done. The Vikings have already won the NFC North, and possess the second-best seed in the NFL with an 11-3 record. Big Blue will enter this matchup as the underdog. But if they could upset the Vikings in Minneapolis, Daniel Jones could find himself playing in the first postseason games of his career next month.