That will be a tall task. Even more so if Adoree’ Jackson is not in the lineup. So will the veteran cornerback be good to go after missing the last seven games with a knee injury?
Excellent question. And one that does not have a clear answer five days before kickoff.
The promising signs: Jackson was a limited practice participant Wednesday. And safety Xavier McKinney — who has already dipped his toe in the Jefferson-related trash talk waters — told reporters he expects Jackson will be back.
The foggier ones: Jackson was only working on the side with a trainer during the portion of practice open to the media. And Jackson was pretty muted in assessing his chances.
Giants corner Adoree Jackson says he’s going to use this week to test how ready his knee and body are to go. Still has hurdles to clear to prove to staff that he is ready and able to play. Doesn’t sound like something that is a sure thing.
— Pat Leonard (@PLeonardNYDN) January 11, 2023
That sentiment echoes what Jackson told NJ.com when asked about playing hurt in the postseason:
Willing to play at less than 100? Ah, I wouldn’t want to go out there, and I’m not at my best. I wouldn’t want to do that. I don’t want to do anything to hinder my team. I don’t want to do that in any way. I know if I’m not 100, there are plenty of guys out there that are going to be able to make plays.
Jefferson leads the league with 128 catches for 1,809 yards this season. He’s hauled in eight touchdowns. And he torched the Giants for 133 yards and a score on 12 grabs in the Vikings’ 27-24 win on Christmas Eve. Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale has to account for him and tight end T.J. Hockenson, who had 13 catches for 109 yards and two scores.
Hockenson and Jefferson did that damage without Jackson and McKinney in the lineup. The Giants have McKinney back. They really need Jackson, too.
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James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]