On Tuesday, the New York Giants lost a potential contributor to their linebacker corps, as the New York Daily News reported that veteran Jarrad Davis underwent surgery due to an undisclosed issue. This will result in him missing significant playing time.
Davis’s Limited Playtime and Performance
Davis was only active for three games with the Giants during the previous season, participating in Week 18, the Wild Card showdown against Minnesota, and the Divisional game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Across these three appearances, Davis accumulated 12 tackles and conceded 53 yards in coverage on four receptions from five targets. He also incurred two penalties while securing five stops in the running game and applying three pressures.
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Implications for the Giants’ Linebacker Corps
The Giants recently signed Indianapolis Colts linebacker Bobby Okereke to a four-year, $40 million deal, making him the first-choice linebacker (LB1). Davis was anticipated to vie for the starting spot alongside Okereke, but this opportunity is now likely to be taken by either Michael McFadden or Darrian Beavers, both of whom are entering their second season.
However, Beavers sat out the entire 2022 season due to a torn ACL, while McFadden played in 435 defensive snaps, securing six pressures, 35 tackles, 19 stops, and surrendering 269 yards in coverage.
McFadden and Beavers: Potential Replacements for Davis
Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale hinted that McFadden had shown considerable improvement this offseason, implying that he is likely to have the upper hand in the competition to become the starting linebacker alongside Okereke at the start of the season.
However, one should not discount Beavers. Despite his injury setback in 2022, Beavers boasts a high football IQ and demonstrated potential before his season-ending injury. While the 2023 season will essentially be his rookie season, he has an excellent opportunity to secure some valuable playtime.
Future Steps for the Giants
In light of Davis’s prolonged absence, the Giants might consider signing a free-agent linebacker or wait until roster cuts are made to identify a replacement through waivers.