Xavier McKinney will start his rookie season in street clothes.
The Giants safety suffered a fracture to his left foot and will undergo surgery, the team announced Wednesday. NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported the fracture is to his fifth metatarsal, which is on the outside of his foot where the Jones fracture tends to happen.
The injury will likely sideline McKinney for 10 or so weeks, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, meaning there's still a chance for a late-season return if everything goes according to plan.
The loss of McKinney, the Giants' second-round pick in April, will hurt the team in terms of depth and potential. He joined a safety group that included strong safety Jabrill Peppers and free safety Julian Love, and brought with him the capability to play effectively as a deep safety, as well as the experience necessary to occupy the box and help in a variety of man-coverage roles.
"I think Xavier has a lot of diversity as a player," Nick Saban, McKinney's coach at Alabama, said during a May appearance on the Giants Huddle podcast. "He can play man-to-man, he's got pretty good ball judgment, he's a good tackler, he's got a lot of toughness, he's a very instinctive and effective blitzer. He's got some burst and acceleration to come off the edge or blitz up the middle and he's got enough power to take on a blocker if he needs to. So he can do just about all the critical factors in terms of what we look for in a safety here.
"As he got experience, he was smart enough to be able to play multiple positions. I think the guy's got some dog in him. He's a competitive guy. He's a playmaker."
Instead, the Giants will be forced to rely on Peppers and Love to do the job.
It's been a tough camp for the top safeties of this rookie class. Of the first three safeties selected in April, two have suffered injuries that will cost them at least 10 games, with Cleveland's Grant Delpit being ruled out for 2020 after suffering a torn Achilles tendon last week.
McKinney wasn't the only Giant included in the injury report Wednesday. Linebacker David Mayo suffered a torn meniscus, the team also announced. The expectation for Mayo going into surgery is that it'll be a meniscus trim, Rapoport reported, per a source, rather than the full repair. That could put him back on the field in three weeks or so, Rapoport added.