The New York Giants’ linebackers are dropping like flies at training camp.
Last season’s hero Chase Blackburn joined an alarmingly long list of linebackers currently sidelined with injuries when a hit to his thigh earlier in the week kept him off the field.
Blackburn, battling for the starting middle linebacker role in New York, joins weakside starter Michael Boley, Clint Sintim, Jacquian Williams and Jake Muasau as the Giants’ injured linebackers unable to practice at this time.
One of the biggest weaknesses on the team, the Giants linebackers desperately need to see reps and prepare for the upcoming NFL season. Though Boley is a certainty on the weak side, there are still questions to be answered opposite him and in the middle.
Second-year linebacker Mark Herzlich is seizing his opportunity with so many injuries to the group, seeing valuable time at middle linebacker. The former first-round prospect has been impressive thus far in camp and could swing this opportunity into a starting role for the defending Super Bowl champions if his stellar performance continues.
Newly-acquired Keith Rivers has found an opportunity to prove himself in camp as well. With Boley out and questions surrounding where the Giants plan to use Rivers, the former first-rounder has played well in camp after returning from a minor hamstring injury of his own. It is possible that Rivers will see time at all three linebacker positions this season.
Ultimately, the Giants’ injured linebackers should see the field. Training camp is still a long way from its end and it does not appear that any of the injuries suffered by these players is anything to be seriously concerned about.
Still, it would be nice to have as many players as possible out on the field, contributing, learning and developing as camp progresses. With so many questions surrounding the unit, the Giants need to see as much from their players as they can before the season begins to put their roster in place.