New York Giants David Mayo
(Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

The New York Giants are returning inside linebacker David Mayo to practice on Thursday. Will he play against the Cowboys?

Back in August, the New York Giants suffered a significant injury-related blow. Inside linebacker David Mayo ultimately went down with a torn meniscus, a setback that was going to at least keep him out of the initial segment of the 2020 campaign.

But according to Dan Duggan of The Athletic, Mayo will practice on Thursday, an optimistic next step in regard to his eventual return to the active roster.

Per Duggan, the Giants now possess a 21-day window to activate him, or else he’ll stay on injured reserve. Thus, there’s a possibility he could be good to go for the team’s matchup with the division-rival Dallas Cowboys this Sunday afternoon.

The Giants signed Mayo to a three-year extension in the offseason after he started 13 games in 2019.

Mayo’s potential impact

As was portrayed last year, Mayo is a productive run-stopper, having led the team’s linebackers with 82 total tackles. That mark was also second on the team, with former Giants safety Antoine Bethea the only player who recorded more (110).

He could thus potentially be a beneficial complement to starting inside linebacker Blake Martinez, who leads the Giants in total tackles by a wide margin. The 2020 free-agent acquisition has racked up 43 thus far while Logan Ryan sits at No. 2 with 22.

The Giants have experienced issues at that linebacker spot alongside Martinez, given the fact that Devante Downs isn’t impressing all too much and rookie Tae Crowder is simply inexperienced to the natural speed of the NFL. Utilizing Mayo would likely provide the Giants defense with even more success defending the run, an area of the game Big Blue has fared well in thus far — the team is tied for 10th in the league with 106.8 rushing yards allowed per contest.

Not to mention, the Giants are facing the best running back they’ll probably need to defend all year in Ezekiel Elliott on Sunday. So if Mayo is healthy, it could be huge for this Patrick Graham-led defensive unit.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.