Help is on the way for the Giants as they enter a critical six-game stretch of the season starting this Sunday.
The team designated their "X-men"--safety Xavier McKinney and outside linebacker Oshane Ximines--for return from injured reserve, thereby starting a 21-day window for each to return to practice and work toward getting into game shape.
McKinney has been on injured reserve since the start of the season after fracturing his foot during training camp.
The hope all along was to open his 21-day window around Thanksgiving, and to that end, McKinney had spent recent practices working with the training staff on the side to start getting back into a groove as far as football movements gp.
Ximines suffered a shoulder injury that landed him on injured reserve on October 9. He also has been working his way back toward full strength under the watchful eye of the team's training staff.
If one or both players aren't activated by the end of the 21-day window, they will have to remain on injured reserve for the rest of the season.
The Giants also activated long snapper Casey Kreiter and punter Riley Dixon from the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
Both of those players were placed on the reserve list last week, presumably because they were identified as potential high-risk contacts with kicker Graham Gano, who remains on the reserve/COVID-19 list after testing positive for the virus.
The Giants now have four players on the COVID-19 list: Gano, tight end Kaden Smith, receiver Dante Pettis, and offensive tackle Matt Peart.
Saturday would be the earliest Gano is eligible to return, assuming he has no symptoms and produces a negative test.
If he cannot go, the Giants have kicker Ryan Santoso, whom they elevated from their practice squad last week, as a backup plan.
The other three players will not be eligible to play when the Giants visit the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday.