File this one under news that the New York Giants did not want to receive: Will Beatty, the Giants’ starting Left Tackle, is out with a torn pectoral for 5-6 months, and will not play on the field until November at the earliest. Beatty suffered the injury while lifting weights this afternoon, and has already had a successful surgery. Not only is Beatty the Giants’ best offensive lineman, he is a top-10 blind side protector in the entire NFL. So with Beatty out until November, where will the Giants turn now?
CHOICE ONE: START ROOKIE ERECK FLOWERS AT LT
This choice is a popular one around the Big Blue fan base, but I cannot see how it could benefit the club to start off this season. Flowers has an extremely bright future as the Giants’ left tackle of the future, but he hasn’t even played an NFL snap yet. There is no way that he could handle elite edge rushers this early in his career. Flowers will become a great left tackle, but now is not his time. Let’s keep him at right tackle to start off the season.
CHOICE TWO: SHIFT JUSTIN PUGH TO LT, SHIFT GEOFF SCHWARTZ TO LG, START JOHN JERRY AT RG
Option two is the much more practical and beneficial option for the Giants. While Justin Pugh has never played left tackle in the NFL before, he did play it at Syracuse and is the only other tackle worth starting that the Giants have right now. Pugh was likely to move inside to left guard, though, so it could be wise to start Geoff Schwartz there, where he was supposed to start last season. Schwartz was looking forward to starting at his more familiar right guard spot, but injuries force changes; Schwartz should understand that given how his toe injuries shook up the O-Line last year. If Schwartz doesn’t move to LG, perhaps Brett Jones, a rookie out of the Canadian Football League, could give it a go. This is unlikely though. Assuming Schwartz moves to LG, John Jerry would be the next man up at right guard. Jerry is a huge specimen, but struggles as a run blocker. Desperate times call for desperate measures though, and Jerry will likely start as he is the primary veteran backup. Don’t forget about Brandon Mosley, who could win the RG spot in this scenario; this is likely his last chance after 3 seasons of futility.
CHOICE THREE: SUBSTITUTE MARSHALL NEWHOUSE IN AT LT FOR BEATTY
Another unlikely situation, but still possible, is that veteran swingman Marshall Newhouse starts at LT. Newhouse is a capable backup but nothing more; I would be shocked if he starts on Day 1.
CHOICE FOUR: SCOUR THE FREE AGENT MARKET FOR A PLUG-IN
Although unlikely to find a starter here, the free agency market does house some LT depth, and maybe a plug-in starter. Ex-Pro Bowler Jake Long is still unsigned at age 30, but his skills have supremely deteriorated. Still, if the Giants are hesitant to shift around their O-Line, Long could be a spot starter. Veteran Will Svitek is an interesting backup option, but having Marshall Newhouse makes Svitek unnecessary. Joe Barksdale is a top run blocker, but is a right tackle, making him a non-factor here. And no, the Giants should not have signed La’el Collins. It’s too late to second-guess now.
No matter how you slice it, this is a very bad situation for the Giants. Anybody they run out there will be a downgrade from Will Beatty, but choice two is probably the most likely and the best overall situation. Chime in the poll below.