In the wake of middle linebacker Jon Beason‘s injury, the New York Giants may experiment with their linebacker corps, including trying to shift Jameel McClain into that role.
Beason was carted off the field on Thursday after suffering a foot injury during OTAs. On Friday, Beason was diagnosed with a ligament tear and small fracture to the sesamoid in his right foot.
The seven-year veteran may need need surgery and his recovery time is a blurry 12 weeks at this point. Beason’s status for the season opener is now in question, as the Giants won’t want to rush him back before he his fully healed. Beason has had a history of serious injuries in the recent past, which ultimately led to his departure from Carolina.
The Giants may try and move McClain from the outside to the middle in Beason’s absence. McClain spent the first six years of his career with the Baltimore Ravens. He has put in some very solid years, recording over 70 tackles in three seasons. He also has more experience than most linebackers on the Giants, which could be big because New York is really going to miss Beason’s leadership as well as his talent.
Other options at middle linebacker include Mark Herzlich and 2014 fifth-round draft pick Devon Kennard. Herzlich however has struggled in an extended role for New York, as he seems to be too slow to be an impact against the pass. Also, throwing Kennard into the fire at the beginning of his rookie season may not be the safest move either.
Although McClain would be playing out of his natural position, he may be the best fit for New York while Beason is recovering.