New York Giants In Tough Spot With Will Beatty Injury


Will Beatty Injury Puts New York Giants In Tough Predicament

The New York Giants received some horrible news on Wednesday, as they were informed they will be without starting left tackle Will Beatty for potentially half the season. Beatty, who was the only sure thing in terms of playing position heading into workouts, tore his pectoral lifting weights and will miss 5-6 months after undergoing surgery.

This is a huge blow to the Giants, as Beatty has been the only consistent thing along the offensive line. He has had his share of struggles, like everyone else on that unit seemingly the last three seasons for the Giants, but unlike the others he was always in the lineup. Beatty has started 46 consecutive games for the Giants, dating back to 2012, even recovering from a broken leg in the season finale in 2013 soon enough to not miss a game in 2014, a feat he didn’t receive enough credit for.

Beatty has been the blindside protector for Eli Manning the past four seasons, making him an important piece to the Giants puzzle. Heading into his seventh season in the NFL, he was expected to do the same and bring some stability to a Giants offensive line that has lacked it since their last successful season in 2011, when they ended it with a Super Bowl victory. Without that security blanket, the Giants will once again be scrambling to put together an offensive line unit.

It could be argued that Beatty was the second most important player on the team. Playing left tackle and protecting Manning’s blindside is only trumped by Manning himself in importance. People will argue that losing phenom Odell Beckham Jr. would be a bigger loss, but in reality if Manning is not given time to throw the ball, it makes no difference who is catching them as he will find it difficult to get the ball to them.

With Beatty now out of commision for probably half the season, who can the Giants turn to to pick up the slack? The first name that comes to mind is Justin Pugh. Pugh, who has played the last two seasons at right tackle, could flip to the other side of the line now that there is a need there. The Giants have been prepping Pugh to kick inside to further strengthen their line, but he may be needed more than ever now on the outside.

Another option could be first round pick Ereck Flowers. Flowers, who was projected to take over at right tackle for Pugh, has the talent to grow into a franchise left tackle. There is where the problem lies though, as Flowers is far from a finished product and could use some seasoning at the NFL level before being given that kind of responsibility. The Giants cannot afford to throw the youngster into the fire early on if he is not ready, as they could potentially lose him for the long term if he struggles when they have big plans for him in the future.

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What about the veterans the Giants have on the roster? There isn’t many options, as Marshall Newhouse was the only tackle that the Giants signed in the offseason, and he was expected to fill a bench spot as the swing tackle. Expecting him to step into such an important role has disaster written all over it as he is better suited for a backup role.

The Giants could turn to Geoff Schwartz or John Jerry, as both have experience playing tackle in their career. Can the Giants afford to make a move like that though? At this time, moving one of them to left tackle could weaken more than one spot, as the Giants would then rely on Pugh picking up guard quickly, or go deeper into their bench to fill in. Schwartz or Jerry taking over at left tackle isn’t the best idea because it will further weaken the unit as a whole.

The Giants are in a tough predicament right now, as they will more than likely have to rely on Pugh or Flowers stepping up big time during the offseason. The only real positive to this whole situation is that the Giants have plenty of time to figure things out along the offensive line with the current group of players they have. There is plenty of reps to be had by Pugh and Flowers to grow and learn, but that is a small positive to take away from this as neither player, at least right now, seems capable of filling Beatty’s shoes at left tackle.

Just as the offensive line finally looked to be coming around, the unit is dealt a devastating blow as they allowed 30 sacks last season, the ninth least in the NFL in 2014. The Giants just cannot catch any breaks in regards to injuries, as it seems every offseason an important player goes down with a significant one, and before things really even got going, that has already proven true in 2015.

Next: How did the Giants fare in the Draft?

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