While New York Giants rookie cornerback Corey Ballentine showed out in the first preseason game of the season with an interception and two assisted tackles, he cannot be relied on to be a regular starter.
With DeAndre Baker evading a severe knee injury, he is the expected starter for the regular season, but he might miss the rest of the preseason and his chance to continue adapting to the physicality and speed of the NFL. That essential time will be lost, and the Giants need to have faith in their rookie first-round pick as they journey forward towards what seems to be a more optimistic season.
The New York Giants could be in trouble:
The issue is, the Giants have little depth at the cornerback position, especially with third-round supplemental draft pick Sam Beal missing consistent time due to injury. Beal has yet to play a single game for the Giants since his inception in 2018.
He missed all of his rookie season last year due to a shoulder injury that was predisposed before his drafting. After starting minicamp with an impressive showing, he has missed several weeks of essential growth and development time.
It is possible that had Coach Pat Shurmur elects to cut Beal if he does not return and show any progression. Wasting a roster spot on a player that simply can’t get on the field when there are other influential veterans available on the free-agent market, might be a difficult decision that Shurmur has to make.
“We’re just going to have to see where he is physically. We drafted him for a reason. We would like to see him be on our team. We’ll just see where he’s at, and then we’ll make a decision at the 53 (man roster),” Shurmur told reporters on Tuesday. “It’s something we’re going to have to evaluate as we go forward. He’s getting healthier by the day. It’s just unfortunate that we haven’t been able to see him do much. But unfortunately, that’s the way it is sometimes.”
It was anticipated Beal would compete directly with Baker for the number two corner position opposite Janoris Jenkins. Now, Baker will be the first team option while Antonio Hamilton and Ballentine compete for the third corner spot. If the injuries continue for Beal, his time on the Giants could be cut short.
The outlook on Beal’s injury does not look good. He has now fallen behind, and it is difficult to envision him playing a factor at the beginning of the regular season. This is Ballentine’s opportunity to prove he can play with the first-stringers. He could see more playing time than expected due to the thinness at the position.