The New York Giants had their season saved last week by more than just one key former standout. While Kayvon Thibodeaux’s impact was massive, it was Landon Collins’ performance that helped move the Giants to just a game and a half away from clinching their first playoff berth since 2016.
As a reward for his play, and for the fact he couldn’t go back to the practice squad, the Giants announced that they have signed Collins to the active roster before Saturday’s Week 16 battle against the Minnesota Vikings.
“I’m just honored that I worked hard, showed what I can do, and getting that opportunity,” Collins told reporters Thursday. “That’s the best part about it…they’ve been talking about it for a minute but just wanted to keep it under wraps.”
Once a leader on a Giants’ defense, Collins has since bounced to Washington and has struggled to find a starting role in the league since he was cut after last season and was on the Giants’ practice squad as of October.
“It was definitely humbling, but I’ve always been that way. I never came here with any expectations or anything like that. I came here to go to work.”
Collins was originally a mainstay on the Giants’ roster when was drafted as a second-round pick in 2022. A former first-team All-Pro, and three-time pro-bowler, Collins is one of the only players on the current roster that was actually on the team for their last playoff appearance in 2016. It’s something that isn’t lost on the former safety as he gets older in his NFL career.
“It seems forever ago because I’m getting up there in age but it really wasn’t,” Collins laughed.
The former Washington Commander isn’t the only football reject that has seemingly found a home here in New York. Jaylon Smith and Tony Jefferson, two former pro-bowl players with their old team, were also free agent/practice squad pickups that the Giants have used to their advantage. To a player like Landon Collins, the knowledge and scars of being cast aside are why they are playing at a high level now.
“We just gelled with that veteran mentality, that knowledge of the game and how we know things can happen. Those scars we had in our younger days. It sticks with us so we always are going to be in tune with that. It helps us defensively to make plays and get off the field.”
New York benefited from the converted safety in a big way on Sunday. Collins totaled just three tackles in the game, but was a key focal point in stopping the run, and getting Washington off the field in the Giants’ 20-12 win.
While the Giants sit on the precipice of their first playoff berth in six seasons, the focus turns to a Minnesota Vikings team that has already wrapped up their division and has a plethora of offensive weapons.
And while Landon Collins has joined other NFL rejects to help New York get to their current position, there’s still a long way to go before they can celebrate.
“I try to make as many plays as I can to help the team win. Yes, keeping me on the field is beneficial, but getting the younger guys on the field and locked in and making plays…that’s the best part about it.”