NY Giants designate Xavier McKinney, Oshane Ximines to return | What it means

The NY Giants designated rookie defensive back Xavier McKinney and edge rusher Oshane Ximines to return from injured reserve Monday

The NY Giants could be getting a significant boost ahead of a stretch run that could determine whether New York wins the NFC East and makes the postseason or gets an early start on building their draft board.

Monday, the NY Giants designated rookie safety Xavier McKinney and pass-rusher Oshane Ximines to return from injured reserve, allowing both players to return to practice and beginning their respective 21-day clocks to decide whether they can return to the active roster or revert to the season-ending injured reserve.

McKinney, chosen by the Giants in the second-round of April’s NFL Draft, has not played a down this season after breaking his foot in the final weeks of training camp back in August.

Meanwhile, Ximines has been out of action since suffering a shoulder injury against the Los Angeles Rams, back in Week 4.

Ximines, in his second NFL season, had five total tackles prior to getting hurt after producing 25 total tackles and 4.5 sacks as a rooke in 2019.

While Logan Ryan has emerged as one of the Giants’ premier defenders, particularly with his strong play the past three weeks, McKinney’s versatility at the University of Alabama is one of the main attributes that led the Giants to choose him with the No. 37 overall pick.

If McKinney is able to return in the coming weeks, it wouldn’t be surprising to see defensive coordinator Patrick Graham try to work him into the slot cornerback role in hopes of providing the defense with some badly needed consistency there.

Additionally, the Giants activated punter Riley Dixon and long-snapper Casey Kreiter from the COVID-19/Reserve list Monday, clearing the path for both players to return this week.

The Giants return from the bye week Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Matt Lombardo is the site expert for GMenHQ, and writes Between The Hash Marks each Wednesday for FanSided. Follow Matt on Twitter: @MattLombardoNFL.