Xavier McKinney Credit: Bill Moore photo

The Giants play their second of three scheduled preseason games this Sunday when they will host the defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals at MetLife Stadium at 7 p.m. 

There was instant reaction and speculation when Giants head Brian Daboll acknowledged that quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who is second on the Giants’ depth chart behind incumbent starter Daniel Jones, possibly would get reps with the first team offense in practice this week. 

“Yeah, as we get going here in terms of the preseason games, we’ll talk about whatever we think is best,” said Daboll on Tuesday via the Giants website. “But I have full confidence in [quarterback] Daniel [Jones] and full confidence in Tyrod and what his role is. Each day, we sit there and we evaluate the guys. But will he get a few reps here or there? He might.”

The first-year head coach was asked if Taylor playing with the starters is an indication of Jones’ tenuous status, given the team did not offer the 25-year-old QB a long-term deal and did not not exercise the fifth-year option of his contract. 

“Absolutely not,” responded Daboll. “No. I learned from a pretty good coach a while ago, usually he doesn’t tell those guys when he throws them in because that’s what the backup’s role is. 

“You have to go in on a split second. You prepare like you’re a starter. But on the fourth play of a game, something happens, you’re in, you got to be ready to go. So, I don’t necessarily think we’ll tell those guys when that will happen.” Taylor led the Giants with 129 passing yards and one touchdown in their 23-21 preseason opening win on the road over the New England Patriots last Thursday. 

The Giants signed the 33-year-old Taylor in March and he has shown the capability to command their offense. He has played for six NFL teams in his career after being drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the sixth round from Virginia Tech in 2011. He has 63 career starts, including starting all six games he played in last season for the Houston Texans. So Taylor is familiar with being a first string QB. 

The defense, under new coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale, may have a new signal caller as well. Third-year safety Xavier Mckinney has been calling plays in practice, and could retain that role during the regular season. It is rare for a safety to be the primary defensive player caller, but when Martindale ran the Ravens’ defense, he assigned the responsibility to two-time All-Pro and six-time Pro Bowler Eric Weddle.

Mckinney has experience calling plays in college playing under current Alabama head coach Nick Saban, widely considered one of the best defensive coaches in football history.

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