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Giants Now: Get to know LB Benardrick McKinney

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5 things to know about LB Benardrick McKinney

The Giants announced on Tuesday that veteran linebacker Benardrick McKinney has been signed to the team's practice squad among a series of roster moves.

Here are five things to know about the 28-year-old linebacker:

1. Benardrick McKinney is entering his seventh season in the NFL after being drafted in the second round (43rd overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans. McKinney spent all of his first six seasons with the Texans before being traded to the Miami Dolphins this past offseason. He was released before the start of the regular season.

2. McKinney has played in 80 games with 77 career starts over the last six seasons. His career totals include 530 total tackles (314 solo), 11.5 sacks, 35 tackles for loss, 30 quarterback hits, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, one interception and 14 passes defended.

3. The linebacker put together his best all-around campaign in his second season back in 2016. Starting all 16 games, McKinney finished the year with 129 tackles (79 solo), five sacks, eight tackles for loss, 11 quarterback hits, one forced fumble and two pass breakups. His performance earned him a selection as Second-Team All-Pro.

Another one of his strongest seasons came in 2018 when he again started all 16 games. McKinney registered 105 tackles (63 solo), 1.5 sacks, five tackles for loss, five quarterback hits, one forced fumble, one interception and seven pass breakups that year on his way to his only Pro Bowl appearance.

4. After redshirting his initial year, McKinney went on to play three seasons at Mississippi State. He led all SEC freshman with 102 tackles in 2012 on his way to being named All-SEC Freshman honors by the conference's coaches. He would go on to lead the team in tackles and sacks in his sophomore campaign. As a redshirt junior in 2014, McKinney registered three sacks, eight tackles for loss, one forced fumble, three fumble recoveries and three pass breakups. He was named First-Team All-SEC in addition to being selected as a First-Team All-American by the Football Writers Association of America.

5. McKinney was born in Tunica, Mississippi where he attended Rosa Fort High School. While there, he played quarterback in addition to linebacker. In his senior season, he accounted for 2,036 total yards of offense and 22 touchdowns (15 passing, seven rushing) with 1,334 passing and 702 yards on the ground. On the defensive side of the ball, he was credited with 66 tackles. McKinney also served as the team's punter during his junior season, and additionally started for the Rosa Fort basketball team. He then went on to Mississippi State, where he majored in industrial technology.

View photos of new Giants linebacker Bernardrick McKinney.

Inside the Numbers: Sterling Shepard climbs franchise record books

Amani Toomer was the Giants' second-round draft choice in 1996, a transaction that proved to be a brilliant decision for both the player and the team. Chosen No. 34 overall, the wide receiver played his entire 13-year career for the Giants and is the franchise leader with 668 catches, 9,497 receiving yards and 54 touchdowns. Toomer also holds the postseason records with 44 receptions, 608 yards and seven scores.

Subsequent attempts to find a long-term standout at the position in the second round were not as fruitful, as Joe Jurevicius (1998), Tim Carter (2002), Sinorice Moss (2006), Steve Smith (2007) and Rueben Randle (2012) contributed either briefly or hardly at all (though Smith did set the Giants' single-season record in 2009 with 107 catches, about half his four-year total of 220).

The Giants again dipped into the second-round well for a receiver in 2016 and secured Oklahoma's Sterling Shepard with the 40th overall selection. And while he has a long way to go to approach Toomer's numbers, Shepard is quietly becoming one of the franchise's most productive wideouts.

Despite missing two games with a hamstring injury, Shepard leads the Giants this season with 28 receptions and is second with 299 yards, 18 less than rookie Kadarius Toney. He scored the Giants' first touchdown this season on a 37-yard pass from Daniel Jones against Denver.

Shepard caught 10 passes for 76 yards in the Giants' 38-11 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. He raised his career total to 341 receptions, which moved him past Chris Calloway (334) and into eighth place on the franchise's career list. Pro Football Hall of Famer Frank Gifford is seventh with 367.

Shepard is fourth among wide receivers in team history, trailing only Toomer (668), Odell Beckham, Jr. (390) and Ike Hilliard (368).

His 76 receiving yards increased Shepard's total to 3,817, which vaulted him over Earnest Gray (3,768) and into 17th place on the franchise list. Lionel Manuel is 16th with 3,941 yards.

View photos from the career of Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard.

Andrew Thomas, C.J. Board placed on injured reserve

Left tackle Andrew Thomas was placed on injured reserve in one of a series of roster moves announced this afternoon by the Giants.

Thomas, a starter since he was the fourth overall choice in the 2020 NFL Draft, hurt his ankle in the Giants' 38-11 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. He missed the previous game with a foot injury. The two injuries are on different legs. Thomas was replaced by Nate Solder against the Cowboys and fellow second-year pro Matt Peart vs. the Rams.

Thomas must sit out at least three games before becoming eligible to return to the roster. The Giants play Carolina, Kansas City, and Las Vegas before their bye, so the earliest Thomas can return is the Nov. 22 Monday night game at Tampa Bay.

Wide receiver/return specialist C.J. Board was also put on injured reserve after suffering a fractured forearm against Los Angeles.

The Giants filled the roster vacancies created by the two I.R. moves by signing tackle Korey Cunningham and wide receiver Dante Pettis off their practice squad.

View photos of the New York Giants' active 53-man roster as it currently stands.

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