New York Giants: Will Beatty Injury Leaves Giant Void


As New York Giants fans were getting pumped up for their first taste of Giants football with the start of OTAs, the injury bug that has seemingly plagued this team for the last two seasons has struck once again. This time it was starting left tackle Will Beatty who is entering his seventh year as a starter.

Beatty tore his left pectoral muscle and is estimated to be out 5 to 6 months after undergoing successful surgery a couple of days ago. This means Beatty will likely be placed on the team’s PUP list and will hopefully be ready to play once he is eligible to be activated on Week 10.

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Since being drafted in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft, Beatty has been an anchor of the Giants’ offensive line protecting quarterback Eli Manning’s blind side. Beatty signed a big five year, $37.5 million contract prior to the 2013 season but struggled to live up to the big money during the 2013 season.

In 2014, Beatty rebounded and had one of his best seasons as a pro despite the overall struggles of the Giants’ offensive line that was battered with injuries. This offseason, the Giants made fixing their offensive line a priority by building around Beatty.

Big Blue drafted fellow offensive lineman Ereck Flowers with their first round pick of the 2015 NFL Draft. The team will also have guard Geoff Schwartz returning from a foot injury that hampered him all of last season.

Second year lineman Weston Richburg is moving back to his natural position at center where he is expected to be more comfortable. That plus a healthy Justin Pugh was supposed to solidify the Giants offensive line that is still trying to replace former mainstays like Chris Snee, Shaun O’Hara, Kareem McKenzie, David Diehl and Rich Seubert.

This injury to Beatty puts the offensive line as Big Blue’s biggest question mark once again going into training camp in a year when the team believed they finally had their line all figured out. This has sent the team scrambling for a short-term solution at arguably the most important spot on any team’s offensive line.

The Giants have brought in injury plagued former Pro Bowl free agent lineman Jake Long for a workout to see if he has anything left in the tank following back-to-back acl tears in the same knee. other options are to throw the rookie Flowers in the fire and hope he thrives in protecting Manning’s blind side while backup linemen John Jerry and Marshall Newhouse slide into temporary starting roles.

This is a great concern for a Giants offense that is loaded with weapons at every skill position on offense. Without a strong offensive line, the potential for what could be a top ten offense in the NFL is greatly limited. If Manning is under constant duress, it will lead him to turn the ball over which in turn will put even more pressure on a Giants defense that is trying to rebound from being 30th overall last season under new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

Hopefully whatever plan the Giants have to patch together their once again questionable offensive line works out long enough for Beatty to return and once again solidify the left side of the line. If not, it will be a frustrating 10 weeks of football to watch for a Giants team that is already coming off a disappointing 2014 season.

As for Giants fans who often griped about Beatty who is often overshadowed by other great left tackles in the NFC East, there is an old saying that rings true in this case. That saying is that you truly don’t know you have something great until it’s gone.

Next: New York Giants: Reasonable Expectations