After improving to 8-5-1 with victory over the Commanders on Sunday night, the Giants earned the right to control their postseason destiny. If they win their last three games, they will make the playoffs for the first time in six years as no worse than the sixth seed in the NFC.
The final push continues this week with a trip to Minnesota to take on 11-3 Vikings, who just orchestrated the largest comeback win in NFL history. Coach Brian Daboll met with the media before Tuesday’s practice at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center to preview the Saturday matchup and provide injury updates.
Here is everything you need to know:
🔹 Safety Landon Collins was in uniform Sunday night for the first time since Oct. 30 in Seattle. It was his maximum third practice squad elevation of the season. If he is to play again, the Giants must sign him to the 53-man roster. Collins played inside linebacker in the base defense and on special teams and had three tackles (one solo). On Tuesday, Daboll said Collins “did some good things” and they will “see as we get going here the rest of the way” in terms of his roster status.
🔹 Cornerback Adoree’ Jackson (knee) is “getting better” while safety Xavier McKinney (hand) will not practice this week. “It’s just how his fingers are healing,” Daboll said of McKinney.
🔹 While it’s hard to replace “really good” players, Daboll said safety Jason Pinnock has done an excellent job of fitting into the defense. “I think the defensive coaches have used him the right way, whether it’s in the deep part of the field, down in the box, blitzing. He’s been a good addition for us. … He’s so explosive. He’s got strength and power and good speed. He can bring it.”
🔹 What makes Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson so good? “One, he’s extremely talented. He’s got good quickness, good body control, can run any route. They line him up all over the place. I think they do a great job with him. He’s hard to cover in man. He’s got great Awareness in zone. He’s good after the catch. He can make contested catches. He’s a problem. … And he can run anything you ask him to run. It’s hard to read him because he’s so good at the top of the route with his body control, his eyes, his head. He’s really good.”
🔹 Daboll called Daniel Jones a true pro who has the highest respect from his teammates. “I know he’s kind of a quiet guy, but in the huddle, he’s a good leader with those guys. He knows everybody’s responsibilities. He can get things lined up; he can correct mistakes. He’s a problem solver. So, I think the guys have a lot of respect for him.”
🔹 On Sunday night, Ben Bredeson played for the first time since injuring his right knee at Jacksonville on Oct. 23 and split time at left guard with Nick Gates. “I think Ben’s done a good job. He’s been a good player for us when we’ve asked him to be in there, he’s coming back from an injury. I thought he did some good things last game. Still, you try to work Those guys in that are coming back. Him, (center Nick) Gates, (center Jon) Feliciano, (guard Mark) Glo (Glowinski), we have a lot of confidence in all four of those guys.”
🔹 Daboll said “that’s a good question” when asked if the rotation will continue. “I think we’ll go through it this week. I think they’ve all earned the right to play, they know what to do, they’re tough, competitive, so that will be a discussion we have kind of at the end of probably every week going forward.”
🔹 Daboll worked out former quarterback and current Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell when he was coming out of college in 2008. “Show my age, but he’s done a really nice job with that team. They’ve won a lot of one-score games. Give credit to the players, but give credit to him and his staff too. They’ve got a lot of good coaches on that staff and to be where they’re at right now is a testament to him and his team. Smart player, really good guy, good family, he’s done a nice job for that organization.”
🔹 Daboll said the Vikings are a resilient team, which is “testament” to O’Connell. Last week, they erased a 33-point deficit and defeated the Colts on Greg Joseph’s 40-yard field goal in overtime to capture the NFC North title. “Unbelievable comeback,” Daboll said.
🔹 In reference to rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux’s breakout game, a reporter recalled that Bill Parcells would always say to them, “Let’s not put this guy in Canton just yet.” Does that apply here? “I’d probably take a page out of Coach Parcells’ book,” Daboll said.