Giants without top safety for a month after ATV accident

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The Giants will be without one of their key defensive starters for at least the next month.

And all because of an ATV ride.

Giants starting safety Xavier McKinney was played by the team on the Reserve/Non-football Injury list Monday, which means he’ll miss at least the next four games. The earliest he can return is against the Eagles in Week 14 but even that’s not guaranteed.

McKinney, 23, on Monday tweeted an explanation that he injured his hand while on an ATV tour on vacation during the Giants’ Week 9 bye week.

Here’s what McKinney wrote in that tweet:

Not good news for the Giants (6-2) as they try to push for a playoff spot in a stacked NFC East, already behind the Eagles (8-0) and Cowboys (6-2).

Because he’s on NFI, the Giants technically don’t have to pay McKinney his next four game checks, but there’s been no indication they’ll withhold payment. Still, not a great look for the young Giant and the team probably isn’t happy about his putting himself in harm’s way during the bye week.

In fact, The Athletic’s Dan Duggan reported that McKinney has standard language in his contract that his guaranteed salary becomes void if he’s unavailable because of an ATV accident. It’s rather inconsequential in this case because McKinney doesn’t have much guaranteed and he isn’t getting cut, but it lets you know the expectations from the team.

The Giants’ next four games are against the Texans, Lions, Cowboys and Commanders before facing the Eagles at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 11. He’s eligible to return for that one, but we’ll see if McKinney will be back by then.

While McKinney isn’t playing as well in 2022 as he did last year, he’s still a starter and an important piece of the Giants’ defense. McKinney started the first eight games for the Giants and has played all 506 defensive snaps for them this season.

The Giants drafted McKinney in the second round of the 2020 draft out of Alabama. He has played in 31 career games with 28 starts and had a breakout year in 2021 with 5 interceptions, 10 pass breakups and a touchdown in 16 starts.

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