It seems that the New York Giants‘ immediate replacement for the injured Jon Beason is Jameel McClain, moving over from the outside to the middle.
Yesterday marked the first day of New York’s mandatory three-day minicamp and the biggest story of the day came in the form of McClain lining up in the middle with the first-team defense.
Beason tore a ligament and fractured a sesamoid in his right foot during OTAs late last week. However, the Giants did receive some good news when they found out yesterday that Beason will not require surgery and is now aiming to be back for the season opener.
Until then, the Giants will turn to McClain to fill the large void left by Beason. McClain has the necessary experience, playing in 87 games with the Ravens over the first six years of his career. He was cut by Baltimore after the 2013 season and then scooped up by the Giants in March.
McClain will not only have to try and make up for Beason’s lost production but also his leadership on the field. Although Beason was acquired during the season last year, he immediately took on a captain-like role along the defensive unit.
The role of middle linebacker is extremely important in 4-3 defense and that was evident last season. Beason took over for Mark Herzlich when he arrived in New York and gave the entire defense a kick-start. He helped change the attitude and culture on a struggling defense, leading a sinking Giants team back into the playoff hunt.
There is no question the Giants will miss Beason this offseason and fans will be praying to have him back by the time the regular season rolls around. But for now, the job is McClain’s and he will do his best to leave his own imprint on the defense.