The linebacker position is under full assault, but not by offenses. This time it’s the injury bug, and the New York Giants just became its latest casualty.
Jon Beason carted off the field during practice
There was probably not a more productive trade in the NFL in 2013 than when the New York Giants sent a 7th round pick to the Carolina Panthers for Jon Beason. He responded with 104 tackles and an interception in just 12 games, reviving what was a pitiful defense through run-stopping prowess and leadership. His impact was clear and the Giants were intent on keeping it around. They handed the 29-year old a three-year extension worth $19 million. Unfortunately the reason they got him for such a cheap price may be rearing it’s head. Prior to arriving in New York, Beason had played just eight games in three seasons thanks to a series of injury problems. Carolina got fed up and it seems they are being validated as news hit recently that Beason was carted off the Giants practice field. That is never a good sign and might signal he’s done for the year. It would be easy to feel sorry for the Giants, if similar problems weren’t befalling other teams.
Sean Lee and Sean Weatherspoon other examples of linebackers hit
Strangely the 2014 season has seemingly saved its biggest injury news for just one position. It began a few weeks ago when Dallas Cowboys captain Sean Lee tore his ACL during a scrimmage drill. Already bedeviled by neck problems, many wonder if the talented kid will ever live up to his vast potential. It didn’t stop there however. Soon the bug left Texas and made its way east into the deep south. There it struck the Atlanta Falcons and their best linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, tearing his Achilles. This after he missed nine games in 2013. So to throw Beason on top of the heap, it makes the more superstitious NFL fans wonder whether the New York Giants are merely the latest to feel the sting? If so, could the trend continue and who might be next?
One thing is for sure. The linebacker spot may not get the same respect as corners or safeties do, but teams like Dallas, Atlanta and now New York may soon find out how valuable it is to an overall defensive scheme.