Brian Daboll spoke to the media on Tuesday for the first time since his team returned from the bye week. The 6-2 Giants, whose four-game winning streak was snapped by the Seahawks in their last time out, start the second half of the season with back-to-back home games against the Texans and Lions.
The Giants are 4-1 all-time against the Texans and have won their past four matchups, most recently in 2018. Here is everything you need to know from Daboll as he kicked off Week 10:
🔹 On Monday, the Giants placed safety Xavier McKinney on the reserve/non-football injury list. Similar to the injured reserve rules, McKinney must miss a minimum of four games. Once he is designated for return to practice, it opens a 21-day window to activate him. Speaking Tuesday, Daboll said that he feels bad for McKinney but disappointed the defensive co-captain got injured. "I feel bad for him. I feel bad for us. I know he's disappointed, but can't do anything about that now. We'll get ready to play Houston."
🔹 The Giants, who embodied the "next man up" mantra in their best start since 2012, will get everyone ready to play in McKinney's absence. Daboll confirmed that Julian Love will wear the green dot on his helmet, which means he will receive the radio calls from the sideline and relay them to the defense on the field. Love later said in the locker room that he has been practicing with it since OTAs, so he's comfortable assuming that duty.
🔹 Daboll said rookie safety Dane Belton is "professional" and has "done everything we asked him to do. Good football player. He's done a good job for us out there."
🔹 Defensive tackle Nicholas Williams, who suffered a biceps injury in Week 8 at Seattle, was placed on injured reserve on Monday. Daboll confirmed he is done for the year.
🔹 Daboll is hopeful that wide receiver Kenny Golladay, cornerback Cor'Dale Flott, and outside linebacker Oshane Ximines will return this week.
🔹 The only two players not scheduled to practice Tuesday were rookie right tackle Evan Neal (knee) and tight end Daniel Bellinger (eye). Coming off the bye week, the Giants treated Tuesday like a normal Wednesday. Players will practice Wednesday and Friday with Thursday being the day off.
🔹 Guard Shane Lemieux, who had been on injured reserve since Aug. 31 with a toe injury, was designated to return to practice this week. He will get reps on the look team this week and go from there.
🔹 Cornerback Aaron Robinson is "doubtful" to return this season due to a knee injury.
🔹 Daboll said wide receiver and returner Richie James will be non-contact in practice as he works through the concussion protocol.
🔹 Last week, the Giants claimed wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins off waivers from the Buffalo Bills, who originally selected the Oregon State product and 2019 Biletnikoff Award semifinalist in the sixth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. "We drafted him when we were at Buffalo. Big receiver. Good hands. Good quickness. Makes contested catches. Very, very smart. Really knows all four spots with being here for a day. So, we'll see where he's at. But really good mentality. Team-first player. Hard worker. Again, some of the stuff we do is a bit different. But he's picked that up. So, we'll see if he's ready to go."
🔹 On the Texans matchup, Daboll said, "I think coach Lovie Smith does a great job. I thought [Houston Texans general manager] Nick Caserio has done a great job of selecting some young players on their roster that are good football players. [Defensive back Jalen] Pitre and [cornerback Derek] Stingley [Jr.] and [running back Dameon] Pierce have all really contributed. They play a lot of young players. I think they have some good veteran players on the defense in particular. [Defensive lineman] Jerry Hughes is a guy that I'm familiar with at Buffalo, and he's playing at a high, high level right now, which I'm not surprised with. [Defensive lineman] Mario Addison is back there; [linebacker Christian] Kirksey [is back there.] They've got a lot of players. They're competitive, and we're going to need to be at our best."
🔹 Daboll isn't using the possibility of playoffs as a motivational tool. "I think we just live in the moment. Each week is its own week in the NFL, and you try to stack as many (wins) as you can together. And at the end of the year, wherever you're at, you're at. I think if you lose focus on what's important, which is the only thing you can control, is today. And then go out there tomorrow and get ready to play a good team, that's all you can control. If you get too far ahead of yourself, again, it brings you back to reality real quick."
View photos from the first half of the season as the Giants entered the bye at 6-2, their best start since 2012.