The New York Giants defense has suffered two potentially crushing blows, including one to a promising young rookie for whom they had high hopes.
Safety Xavier McKinney, the team’s second-round draft pick this year out of Alabama, fractured his left foot. He was scheduled to undergo surgery later this afternoon at Hospital for Special Surgery, where foot specialist Dr. Martin O'Malley will perform the procedure.
McKinney, whom the NFL Network projects could miss 8-12 weeks, was projected to be the starting free safety alongside Jabrill Peppers. He, Peppers, and second-year man Julian Love were shaping up to form the Giants best trio of safeties since 2011 when the team had Deon Grant, Kenny Phillips, and Antrel Rolle.
Love, who last year stepped in for Peppers when he had to miss the final four games of the season with a back injury, projects as the fill-in for McKinney while he recovers from his injury.
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Inside linebacker David Mayo, who last year tied for second on the team with a career-high 80 tackles, has a torn meniscus in his left knee and is scheduled to undergo surgery tomorrow.
Mayo, who re-signed with the Giants in the off-season, was projected to be a key part of the run defense this year.
The Giants added a bunch of linebackers in the draft this year, including Cam Brown, Tae Crowder, and TJ Brunson, all of whom can work inside. In addition to projected starter Blake Martinez, they also have Devante Downs and Ryan Connelly competing for playing time.