Kendall Fuller will be active for the Washington Commanders' NFC East showdown against the New York Giants on Sunday after dealing with a knee injury this week.
Fuller, who is fourth on the team in tackles and leads the defense with two interceptions and six pass breakups, first showed up on the injury report Wednesday and did not participate until Friday, when he was listed as limited.
Seeing how Fuller is ranked fifth by Pro Football Focus in overall defensive grade (82.0) and fourth in coverage grade (82.9) among cornerbacks, losing him would have been a significant blow to the Commanders' secondary. However, Fuller didn't seem bothered by the injury when asked about it in the locker room on Thursday, helping to alleviate any concerns about his availability.
"I've been managing it since I came into the league with my surgery out of college," Fuller said. "So, I know what it is, how to take care of it. Once you find your routine, you just stick to it and you trust it."
Fuller and the Commanders will match up against a Giants offense that has struggled to do much of anything in the passing game, despite them having playmakers like Darren Waller, Jalin Hyatt and Sterling Shepard. They have only two passing touchdowns this season, which is the lowest number in the league, and they average 5.8 yards per attempt, which is the fourth lowest in the league.
Check out the best photos of the Washington Commanders going through Thursday's practice as they get ready for the New York Giants.
Still, with how close Washington's games with New York have been over the years – aside from the 2021 season finale, most of the games between the two teams during Ron Rivera’s tenure have been decided by an average of 2.6 points -- the Burgundy & Gold need to be at full strength.
"We see a lot of skill, a lot of talent," said defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio. "Obviously, they've had some injuries up front, but they're starting to get some guys back. We're preparing for the very best they can bring, and we understand they're very talented with their skill people.
The Giants have had their own injury issues for the last few weeks with 15 players on their injury report. Six of those players are on the offensive line, and that includes starters like center John Michael Schmitz, Evan Neal and Andrew Thomas.
As a result, the Giants' offensive front has struggled to protect its quarterbacks, who have been sacked a combined 33 times. It should be a chance for Washington's pass-rush to get after either Daniel Jones or Tyrod Taylor, and it looks like the Commanders defensive line will be a full strength with Jonathan Allen (knee), James Smith-Williams (foot) and Montez Sweat (finger) all being cleared to play on Sunday.
In other injury news for the Commanders, Chris Rodriguez Jr., who had four rushes for 23 yards and averaged 5.8 yards per carry against the Atlanta Falcons, is cleared to play after dealing with a personal matter. Kamren Curl (ankle) will also be on the field after being a full participant on Thursday and Friday. Christian Holmes will provide depth in the secondary and on special teams after missing last week with a hamstring issue.