The loss of stud safety Xavier McKinney is going to be tough for at least a month. The NY Giants have once again been dealt a rough hand, but as has been the case since the summer, this team will look to attack adversity head on and find ways to overcome the battles placed in front of them. This squad has serious heart.
Yes, not having McKinney out on the field vs. the Texans this weekend is going to hurt the defense, but the pieces are in place for the unit to rise up and still help the G-Men record a win. This will have to be the case until McKinney is cleared. With that said, here’s a look at three guys in East Rutherford who must be on point until McKinney can return.
3. Dane Belton
Obviously, the first name that’s going to pop into a lot of people’s minds is safety Dane Belton. The rookie fourth-round pick is going to see a whole lot more action with McKinney sidelined. Normally you’d hate to see a rookie step in for a talented veteran like McKinney, but Belton is playing beyond his years for the G-Men. Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale has a ton of confidence in him too.
"“I think that he’s a student of the game,” McKinney said of Belton. “He takes it very serious as a profession. That’s what jumps out at me. He’s a really mature kid for being a rookie. I don’t know if you all have had a chance to visit with him yet or not, but he’s very quiet. You got to get him talking louder and things like that, but I just like how he approaches the game. The plays will come for him because he keeps doing the right thing. He’s not an error repeater; he doesn’t make the same mistake twice. I think as a rookie, he’s ahead of the game."
The fact that Martindale, one of the best DCs in the game, has such confidence in Belton speaks volumes to his potential. Thus far this campaign, Belton has posted 19 totals tackles and two fumble recoveries in his seven appearances. Belton has a great chance this weekend to show the fans at MetLife Stadium how special he can be. The place will be rockin’ if he records his first INT.