The schedule was rescheduled for Friday afternoon after McKinney was cleared to play. Earlier in the day, coach Brian Dabor said they would see, but the third-year safety “probably won’t” be back this week.
The Giants (8-6-1) could advance to the playoffs with a win over the Colts.
McKinney, the team’s captain and defensive signal-caller, has been sidelined since injuring his hand in an ATV accident in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico during the Giants’ bye week. was pinned and missed seven games.
The third-year safety opened his 21-day practice window on Thursday. He attended the practice with his splint on, his hands wrapped like mittens, his four fingers wrapped together and his thumb apart.
“I would say that [Thursday] It was kind of the first step in getting him back together,” Dabor said. I thought the conditions were good. Obviously haven’t played the game in a while. I would say maybe not this week, but he looked that good.”
McKinney’s return comes just in time for an important stretch run. The Giants have a chance to secure a playoff spot for the first time since 2016 with a victory over the five-game losing streak on Sunday.
New York went 2-4-1 without McKinnie in the lineup. McKinney and cornerback Adley Jackson (knee) were injured, allowing 26.0 points per game for that period. Only three teams have allowed more points since Week 9.
McKinney wears a specially made contraption on Sundays.
“It will be different, but I consider myself an athlete, like many of the players here, so I can adjust. And how can we get all fingers to be still, like all hands are still,” McKinney said. “I get it and go from there.”
McKinney admitted Thursday that his patience with waiting for the go-ahead from the team’s medical staff had run out.
The injury left him with a large scar and lingering swelling.
“I mean there are some. Like I said, you just have to get used to the contact part again,” McKinney said. “It still swells a little here and there, but I think it’s part of the process of building scar tissue. I’ve dealt with injuries before, so I know how it works. I know I have to, I pushed a little bit to get back where I want to go and that’s what I do and so far good.”
The key over the last few weeks has been getting McKinnie’s hand to a point where everyone thought they could safely maintain contact. He tested it this week and the result was positive.
It helped hasten his decision to return to the Colts.
“When I was there, obviously, I’m going back there, so I need to test it.” I’m trying to do it to see how much I can take, what I need to do, what I don’t need to do…everything felt fine…when I did.”
The 23-year-old has had 37 tackles, one sack, four passes defended and a forced fumble this season.
The Giants released wide receiver David Sills to make room for McKinney on their active roster. They also promoted TE Chris Myarick and CB Zyon Gilbert in Sunday’s game.