The New York Giants were left without one of their best defensive players for a good portion of the 2022 regular season after star safety Xavier McKinney suffered a broken hand injury during the team’s bye week. McKinney missed eight regular season games recovering from the injury. Upon his return, McKinney wore a club around his hand that greatly impacted his ability to make plays on the ball.
As the team starts its offseason programming in preparation for the 2023 season, McKinney spoke with the media, offering an encouraging update on his injured hand. “The hand is good to go,” McKinney said. “I’m 100 percent, for sure.”
Giants’ McKinney says his hand is “good to go”
Xavier McKinney explained that he’s undergone a “tremendous amount of work and rehab” to get his hand back to full health. McKinney also added that he doesn’t think he’ll need to wear any clubs or splints on his hand this season, though, “they’ll see how it goes.”
“Either way, I’m going to play at a high level,” McKinney said when asked whether he will need to wear anything on his hand this season.
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Xavier McKinney excited to continue to play under Wink Martindale
The Giants can feel confident about the back end of their defense with McKinney fully healthy entering the 2023 season. McKinney is excited to be back with defensive coordinator Wink Martindale who nearly left for a head coaching job elsewhere this offseason.
“I think we built a lot with him, with just everybody, the whole group as a defense, built a lot of good relationships,” McKinney said in reaction to Martindale remaining with the team. “We understood how one another worked and we were able to build something special. I’m glad he stayed. I really didn’t have any doubt that he would leave, honestly. Like I said, just happy that he’s here and happy that he stayed and we can continue to build off of what we had last year.”
McKinney on playing without Julian Love in 2023
McKinney will be without his usual partner in crime this season, however. The Giants’ starter opposite of McKinney over the last two seasons was Julian Love, who left in free agency this offseason, signing a two-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks. It “sucked” to see Love depart, explained McKinney.
Despite Love’s absence, McKinney is still confident in the group of guys the Giants have in their secondary.
“We’ve got guys in the room who have been in that situation last year and were in situations where they had to come in and step up and they did that very well,” McKinney said. “They did that at a high level. I have a lot of confidence in who we have in our room now and the guys that we will have bringing in, so I’m not too stressed about that and I’m really confident in who we’ve got.”
After bursting onto the scene with 93 combined tackles, 10 passes defended, and five interceptions in 2021, McKinney posted just 45 combined tackles, five passes defended, and 0 interceptions in 2022 as he appeared in only nine games.
McKinney has demonstrated true star power in the past. The Giants are hoping to see him return to form and fully healthy in the 2023 season.