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Giants news, 12/23: Landon Collins return, growth of Daniel Jones, more headlines

New York Giants headlines for Friday

Good morning, New York Giants fans!

Landon Collins looks to make the playoffs again with the Giants

The Giants last made the playoffs in 2016 and the only holdover from that 53 man roster when the Giants broke camp was WR Sterling Shepard, whose season ended in Week 3 when he tore his ACL.

But the team made a move on Thursday to make another member of that team return to the playoffs again with the Giants when they promoted Landon Collins off the practice squad and onto the main roster.

The 2016 Giants, who finished 11-5, was the only winning team Collins played on until now.

“It’s exciting,” he said. “I’m excited because now you get to really contribute, make some plays for this team, and make that run. That run is as big as it comes. This opportunity is a blessing, and I’m thankful for it.”

Collins was a two-time Pro Bowl selection during his first tour with the Giants that ended after the 2018 season when he signed as a free agent with Washington. But his return to the team that drafted him in the second round of the 2015 draft saw him not dress since Week 6 against Jacksonville before the team used their third and last elevation for Collins from the practice squad onto the game day roster last week.

The Alabama product made a key stop on third down in the win against Washington last week as his role in Wink Martindale’s defense has seen him used more like a linebacker than a safety.

It’s a role that Collins is embracing in his second tour of duty with the Giants, understanding what is at stake for the team with three games to go in the regular season.

“It’s definitely humbling, but I’ve always been that way,” Collins said. “I’ve always been a worker. So, that’s something that’s never changed. I never came here with expectations, anything like that. I came here to go to work and get back into the building. So, that’s the best part about it.”

From Big Blue View

Other Giant observations

Giants hoping to join Vikings in postseason. First they must stop Justin Jefferson | FOX Sports

It would complete a shocking turnaround in the first year of the Brian Daboll era. It would almost be enough to put the stench of the Dave Gettleman Era in the distant past. That would certainly qualify as a success, right?

“I don’t know if we’d say that,” said Giants quarterback Daniel Jones. “It’s certainly a goal for us to make playoffs, but we’re confident in our ability as a team, and we believe we’re a good team.”

Giants fans nodding their head in agreement

Giants’ former head coach ecstatic that Daniel Jones has team on brink of a playoff berth |

Former Giants head coach Pat Shurmur always felt Jones had the perfect makeup to play the position to go along with the talent, a factor that sometimes is underrated and overlooked. (See Jets, Wilson).

“I think it’s fair to say he’s quiet, but I wouldn’t say he’s laid back,” Shurmur said. “He’s pretty intense about the things he is working on and the things that are important to him. I think that’s what you see behind the scenes. “I always appreciated the fact that he didn’t deflect mistakes. He was always willing to say that I screwed up or I didn’t get the ball right where I wanted it. He was the first to say I have to take care of the ball better. He was always good that way and I’m sure that hasn’t changed.”

Giants OC Mike Kafka Sees a Lot of Growth in QB Daniel Jones | Sports Illustrated

"Every day, Daniel, he comes to work. Whether it’s in the classroom, he just sat in there with the install, asking questions, and then on the field, he’s working his butt off, too," Kafka said. "It’s great for him; he’s always looking for ways to improve, no matter what day it is. Whether it’s future, past, or whatever, he’s always looking for ways to improve his game. Asking how certain people did certain ways and bouncing ideas off of Dabs (quarterbacks coach) Shea (Tierney), myself, and the other quarterbacks. So, he’s always looking for ways to learn and grow. That’s one of the things I love about him."

Giants, Eagles coordinators gain momentum as head coach candidates |

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler also named Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka a candidate who has “caught attention” for his work.

Kafka spent five years as an assistant coach with the Kansas City Chiefs and is in his first year as Giants offensive coordinator. Kafka however, has been overseeing a Giants offense that hasn’t been extremely impressive.

Dabs' Digest: 'We just take it one week at a time' |

Q: Someone mentioned the other day that you have the fewest pass completions of 20 yards. When you don't get those chunk plays, does it reduce your margin of error? I would assume it makes taking care of the ball even more important.

Daboll: "No question. Chunk plays really help because you're skipping some of those third downs, which are tough situations for an offense – for any offense – to execute against a defense. So, it's something that we work on. I think Daniel, again, he's throwing the ball where he needs to throw it. But when you don't have them (chunk plays), that's why we had an 18-play drive against Washington. Usually, you have some longer drives. And that all comes down to execution."

NFL insider outlines Giants’ impending contract talks with Saquon Barkley, Daniel Jones |

Here’s what NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo had to say on how the Giants can keep Jones and work out a deal with Barkley:

“From my understanding, the talks with Saquon that they had during the bye week were a good starting point and had both sides kind of feeling good about. Now look, he wants (Christian) McCaffrey money. They are not willing to go there, so it is going to have to be Dalvin Cook money, $12 million whatever a year plus add a little on to that then maybe get a deal done. And then, that allows you to give the franchise tag, so I think it is either a tag and a one year, hey, let’s kick this can a little bit further down the road and give you another year to show us what you got. Or, some kind of shorter deal. It is not going to be any monster, five years, $200 million deal. He is not there yet, but if I am him, I say, look: I take the tag or the short term deal. Give me some more weapons to play with, another year in this offense and then I will show you I am worthy of that $40 million, $50 million deal, whatever.”

Lawrence praises his rookie linemate

This week’s opponent

Garrett Bradbury out for Vikings; Eric Kendricks, Cam Dantzler questionable | ProFootballTalk

The Vikings will play without center Garrett Bradbury again this weekend. Bradbury has been ruled out for Saturday’s game against the Giants. Bradbury started the first 12 games of the season before missing the last two weeks with a back injury. He said earlier this week that he aggravated the injury in a minor car accident after last Saturday’s win over the Colts, so Austin Schlottman is in line for his third straight start.

Ranking five best NFL offseason moves |

5. Vikings sign Za'Darius Smith. The Vikings defense is one of the worst in the NFL, but how bad would Minnesota be if Smith wasn't on the unit? Smith leads the NFL with 72 pressures and has 10 sacks on the season to go with 21 quarterback hits. The Vikings are 17th in the league with 33 sacks, as Smith is responsible for 30.3% of the team output.

The only player in the league with 50 hurries this season, Smith has only had Danielle Hunter to help him out in the pass rush. While Smith only has a 0.5 sack and 17 pressures in his last five games, he still is the player opposing offensive lines have to stop every week.

NFL executives select Justin Jefferson as NFL Offensive Player of the Year | Daily Norseman

In a poll of 26 high-ranking executives from NFL teams, including 15 general managers,'s Tom Pelissero got a look at who some of the favorites for the annual awards might be, and the name of Vikings’ star wide receiver Justin Jefferson topped the list for the Offensive Player of the Year Award.

Jefferson received 13.5 of the 26 votes available in that category, more than doubling the tally of Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes. (In this poll, Mahomes would have to console himself with another MVP trophy, which he won going away.) Today, Jefferson leads the NFL in receptions with 111 and receiving yardage with 1,623. He’s on pace to set a new single-season NFL receiving yardage record and, potentially, become the first 2,000-yard receiver in NFL history.

Five Vikings Selected to the 2023 NFL Pro Bowl Games |

Quarterback Kirk Cousins is making his fourth appearance; wide receiver Justin Jefferson and outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith are getting their third appearances; tight end T.J. Hockenson is going back for a second time, and long snapper Andrew DePaola has been named to the NFL all-star roster for the first time.

Around the league

Nick Sirianni: Gardner Minshew to start against Cowboys | ProFootballTalk

“Gardner will be our guy and Gardner will be ready,” Sirianni said, who added that starting QB Jalen Hurts did everything he could to play.. “Gardner worked his butt off for this opportunity against a really good football team. Had a great practice yesterday. I think you guys have all heard that, how good a practice he had yesterday — a lot of energy out there. He’s ready to go.”

Commanders DE Chase Young to make 2022 season debut Saturday vs. 49ers |

Young hasn't played since suffering a significant knee injury in Week 9 of the 2021 season, sending him down a long journey back to the field that included surgery, rehabilitation and a lengthy ramp-up process that has delayed his return. Young returned to practice more than a month ago, but has followed a slow-moving plan in order to best prepare himself for action.

Steelers' Kenny Pickett says he self-reported concussion symptoms |

He was cleared and reentered the game on the Steelers' next drive. But over the course of the quick three-play series, Pickett noticed changes in his vision setting in. That's when he knew something was wrong and self-reported his symptoms when he came off the field.

"I thought I was good to go, felt good," Pickett said Thursday. "And I got back out there and started running, and they started coming into play more. I'm moving and things are going fast. That's when symptoms started to come up, and I had to go inside...I came off the field, was not feeling good, so that's why I went in."

NFL announces deal to make YouTube the exclusive provider of NFL Sunday Ticket |

Starting next season, NFL Sunday Ticket will be available on two of YouTube’s growing subscription businesses as an add-on package on YouTube TV and standalone a-la-carte on YouTube Primetime Channels, the league said in a press release.

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