Notebook | Reinforcements Coming, Another Backup Quarterback on Deck, and More

Rounding up the leftovers from Monday's Giants media session.
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Despite their best efforts, the Giants haven't been immune to the COVID-19 virus, as last week, three players tested positive for the virus.

Tight end Kaden Smith, rookie offensive tackle Matt Peart, and wide receiver Dante Pettis joined kicker Graham Gano and guard Will Hernandez as those players who have tested positive for the virus since the start of the season.

Smith, Peart, and Pettis likely won't be cleared in time to play in the Giants' Week-12 game against the Cincinnati Bengals. While none of those players is a starter, their absence could hinder the gameplan for a team that relies on depth as the Giants.

Every game suddenly counts in a significant way for the 3-7 Giants, who need to keep pace with all three of their NFC East rivals to keep their division title hopes alive.

Reinforcements Coming?

The Giants designated edge rusher Oshane Ximines and safety Xavier McKinney for return from injured reserve Monday, meaning that the 21-day evaluation window has begun on both.

McKinney is recovering from a broken foot suffered in the summer; Ximines is looking to return from a shoulder injury suffered early last month.

"I think both have a chance for Sunday," head coach Joe Judge said. "Today was the first day getting them both back out there. I'd say both moved well, and both were really flying around the field."

But it also needs to be noted that the Giants held a padless workout in smaller groups as part of their attempt to keep the coronavirus at bay. That will change on Wednesday when the entire team reconvenes for its first full practice in nearly two weeks.

"Wednesday, we'll have the pads on, see them pop the pads a little bit and see how their bodies respond to it. That will really tell the story for the weekend," Judge said.

Another Backup Quarterback

The Bengals will begin life this Sunday without rookie quarterback Joe Burrow after he suffered a season-ending ACL and MCL tear of his left knee Sunday against the Washington Football Team.

Burrow, the first overall pick in this year's draft out of LSU, was a favorite to win the "Offensive Rookie of the Year" honors, having recorded 2,688 passing yards and 15 touchdowns to five interceptions.

Instead, Burrow will now have to focus on his recovery while the 2-7-1 Bengals will turn to backup Ryan Finley, a fourth-round pick out of NC State in 2019.

Burrow's injury has struck a chord around the NFL, with star quarterbacks like Russell Wilson and Patrick Mahomes among the many sending their support to Burrow.

Add Giants defensive lineman Leonard Williams to that growing list.

"I think it sucks to see any type of player get injured in this game," Williams said. "I know you hear it a lot, people say it's above the sport. No one wants to see someone that we play with, we respect their grind and everything like that, to get hurt."

But getting back to Finley, it might be worth noting that backup quarterbacks have had their moments against the Giants so far this season, including Dallas' Andy Dalton and San Francisco's Nick Mullens, both of whom led their teams to victories over New York.

The good news is not all was lost against backup quarterbacks. When Kyle Allen of the Washington Football Team suffered a season-ending injury against the Giants in Week 9, backup Alex Smith could not work the same magic in topping the Giants.

So with another backup quarterback on deck, the Giants hope the outcome resembles what happened against Washington rather than what happened against San Francisco and Dallas.

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