After ending the 2013 season on injured reserve, second-year safety Cooper Taylor appears headed for an unfortunate return trip to the sidelines. Taylor, who hurt his left foot making a tackle on Saturday night against Indianapolis, has been diagnosed with a sesamoid fracture — if this particular diagnosis sounds eerily familiar, that’s probably because Jon Beason suffered a similar injury on his right foot during OTA’s. Two sesamoids don’t make a right, folks. Surgery will be required.
“Surgery would knock out most of the season,” a source told NJ.com. “IR would make sense.”
In addition to his solid performance in coverage, Taylor racked up 11 solo tackles in the Giants three preseason victories. He was always around the football, and quickly gaining the admiration of the coaching staff who was contemplating utilization of Taylor in a “3-safety” look. Defensive backs coach Dave Merritt was particularly enthralled with the physically gifted Taylor:
“I think the kid is a big height, weight, speed guy already, 6’4 – 230. So he has all of the (tangibles) there that’s needed to play the position, but I think confidence. I think that is the one thing has happened with that one man, that he has displayed more confidence this offseason than any time before. That comes with, of course, understanding and being more familiar with the system, so the fact that he is able to recall the defense as I ask him questions, that has been the biggest difference.”
That enhanced level of familiarity and comfort will be halted for the time being. While there has been no official organizational word on his status, Taylor’s entire 2014 season is obviously in serious doubt.
What does this mean in terms of roster construction? Rookie Nat “The Missile” Berhe suddenly becomes a vital depth piece. Like Taylor, Berhe thrives creeping closer to the line of scrimmage. UDFA C.J. Barnett suddenly has a realistic shot at the 53-man as well. The Giants will snip their roster down to 75 by next Tuesday August 26th.