New York Giants: Reinforcements flooding in after BYE week

New York Giants, Kevin Zeitler

The New York Giants were gearing up to face off against the Cincinnati Bengals with the expectation that they would be without several key players. The Giants haven’t had second-round pick Xavier McKinney since the start of the season after he suffered a fractured foot during training camp. They also proceeded without Oshane Ximines for several weeks and Tae Crowder, following a hamstring injury against Washington earlier on in the campaign.

This past week, kicker Graham Gano was diagnosed with COVID-19, which kept him out for several days. The same also occurred for guard Will Hernandez, with special teams players Casey Kreiter and Riley Dixon quarantining in case of potential exposure. However, they tested negative on numerous occasions, allowing them to return to the practice field.

Nonetheless, the Giants are gearing up to gain back a number of talented and essential players, including cornerback James Bradberry and starting right guard Kevin Zeitler.

New York Giants gaining back a number of players:

-James Bradberry (personal)

-Kevin Zeitler (concussion)

-Xavier McKinney (foot)

-Tae Crowder (hamstring)

-Oshane Ximines (shoulder)

-Graham Gano (COVID)

Bradberry missed practice on Tuesday and Wednesday, which sparked a potential problem for the defense. Bradberry has been enjoying an All-Pro level season this year, earning better coverage grades and Stephon Gilmore and Jalen Ramsey.

While his tackling hasn’t been efficient, his ability in coverage has been in the elite category. Through 10 games, Bradberry has an impressive 32 tackles, 14 passes defended, 57.4% completion rate against, and four total turnovers.

Losing Bradberry on defense would be catastrophic, considering the Giants only have Ryan Lewis and Isaac Yiadom at the cornerback position. Their struggles at CB2 have been apparent, so the former Carolina Panther’s availability is essential, even against a team as questionable as the Bengals.

As for Zeitler, the Giants’ top offensive lineman and veteran guard, he suffered a concussion in week 10 against Philadelphia. He has been cleared to play and will once again be a focal point for them in the trenches. He had his best game of the season against Philly, playing 30 pass-blocking stops and 27 run blocking. He had a season-high 77.1 overall grade (PFF), despite having inconsistent numbers this season with a rookie oriented line and new coaching staff.