It wouldn’t be an offseason without some questions regarding the health of key players.
Such is the case for the Giants, who are looking at potentially having four starters from last year not available for the start of training camp, let alone for the season.
The four are as follows:
Left Tackle Will Beatty
Beatty is recovering from what the team classified as a broken leg suffered in the final regular-season game, an injury that Beatty later clarified for reporters happened to his tibia (the weight-bearing bone in the lower leg).
Beatty was sidelined for the entire spring, and there is a very realistic possibility that he could start training camp on the PUP list, as the timing would put him about six months out from the surgery he had to help expedite repairing of the limb.
What’s interesting about Beatty’s situation is that every time head coach Tom Coughlin is asked about him, he speaks with an uncertain tone.
On June 12, after the team’s ninth OTA, Coughlin, when asked about Beatty, said, “He seems like he’s making progress.”
Before that, on May 29, the team’s second OTA, Coughlin said of Beatty and receiver Mario Manningham (knee), “Supposedly, they’ll be ready for the fall.”
Those quotes, to me, don’t sound like a coach who is convinced that he’ll have his starting left tackle for the start of camp.
So we’ll see what happens with Beatty and if the team really believes that it can get by with Charles Brown at left tackle in the interim.
Middle Linebacker Jon Beason
Jon Beason became the third Giant in as many years to suffer a freak injury during OTAs, following on the heels of former receiver Hakeem Nicks in 2012 and fullback Henry Hynoski last year.
The good news is that the broken foot and ligament tear that Beason suffered does not require surgery, and there is a chance he could be ready for opening day on September 8.
My guess is that the time line the team and Beason are hoping for is a little aggressive and that a more realistic scenario for Beason’s 2014 debut might be in Week 3 or Week 4.
Right Guard Chris Snee
Chris Snee is an interesting situation for the Giants. He’s trying to come back from dual hip surgeries and an elbow operation, the latter of which gave him enough trouble to force him to shut it down for the final OTAs and for all of minicamp.
Then there was general manager Jerry Reese telling WFAN radio’s Joe and Evan on June 23 that “the jury is still out” on Snee.
“He was still not doing great this spring, but we’ll see in the next few weeks if he’s going to be able to help us or not,” Reese said. “I think he’ll make a decision one way or another, so we’ll see how that goes.”
With all due respect to Snee, who was a true warrior and role model for this team, it’s ridiculous to hedge any bets on him given what he’s been through physically.
The Giants, remember, parted with Shaun O’Hara and Rich Seubert, both good linemen when they were in their respective primes and who were coming off significant injuries/surgeries in 2011.
That the Giants are hanging on to Snee in hopes that he suddenly finds the fountain of youth is just as foolish as their hoping that last year’s offensive line would hold up through a 16-game season.
As Reese said, “We’ll see.”
Running Back David Wilson
It’s easy to understand the Giants’ approach with running back David Wilson, who’s recovering from spinal fusion surgery he had in mid-January.
With each day that Wilson moves away from the surgery, he’s going to be making progress, and that’s exactly how the team has been classifying his status every time it’s asked about it.
However, the only progress that counts where Wilson is concerned is whether he’s been cleared to resume full-contact activities, which of course he hasn’t.
A safe bet, despite all of the optimism surrounding Wilson’s healing process, is that the running back is going to start training camp on the PUP list.
Whether he stays there into the start of the season or comes off is another question, but if he does start on the PUP list, the more time he loses, the more likely he is to fall behind on this new offense, which can’t be a good thing.
Wilson didn’t want to talk about his neck situation during the final day of the minicamp, but he did note that he was looking forward to being cleared on July 21, the day the players take their training camp physicals.
Besides those four, the Giants are also holding their collective breath that defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is indeed good to go this year.
Last season, Pierre-Paul wasn’t quite the same, as he tried to come back from offseason back surgery. A shoulder injury put a further damper on his performance, the result being season lows in total tackles (27) and sacks (2.0) in what was the first time he didn’t play a full 16-game schedule.
During last week’s minicamp, Pierre-Paul admitted to Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger that he still feels “a little something” in his surgically repaired back, but he quickly added, “It’s nothing that is going to bother me while I’m playing.”
With the Giants having lost Justin Tuck to free agency, they need a healthy and effective Pierre-Paul to resemble the 2011 version in which he posted career highs in tackles (86) and sacks (16.5) in what many people regard as his breakout season.