Giants get encouraging Blake Martinez injury news

Don’t let the unusual state of the Giants’ linebackers and one late defensive stand fool you into thinking Blake Martinez is replaceable.

Just because the Giants are succeeding with late-round rookies and reclamation projects replacing their season-opening top four outside linebackers doesn’t mean the same thing will happen if their middle linebacker is on the shelf. So, Martinez (lower back) missing the final minutes of Sunday’s win against the Seahawks could have tempered some enthusiasm from a win.

Relax. Martinez is expected to manage his injury with treatment.

“It doesn’t look like there is necessarily anything serious,” coach Joe Judge said of the injury report. “A big test will be to see if any of the inflammation really increases with these guys on the flight back [from Seattle].”

Martinez is second in the NFL with 110 tackles and has two sacks, two forced fumbles and two interceptions. His importance is magnified considering he is surrounded by inexperienced players such as Tae Crowder, Carter Coughlin, Niko Lalos, Cam Brown and Devante Downs.

Blake Martinez
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Right tackle Matt Peart played through a tweaked ankle.

The Giants are planning a day off Tuesday and a walk-through Wednesday to “calm down their bodies,” Judge said.

Will Hernandez played 2,523 consecutive snaps at left guard to begin his career but lost his starting job to rookie Shane Lemieux while on the COVID-19/reserve list. Hernandez has played 42 snaps over the last two games compared to 99 for Lemeiux and a full 137 for right guard Kevin Zeitler.

“I may be screwed up,” Judge quipped. “I don’t really look at any of our players as starters or backups. Will is doing a good job when he goes in there. He’s making a solid contribution. The focus for us on the offensive line right now is really just rotate these guys, give us a chance to develop as many players as we can, and give us a chance of playing as fresh as we can through this stretch with the importance of winning the fourth quarter.”

Highlight shows are making a fuss over DK Metcalf’s stiff arm to the face mask to knock Giants cornerback James Bradberry to the turf. Are they missing the point?

Bradberry not only finished the tackle without allowing yards after the catch, he nearly forced a fumble because Metcalf left the ball unprotected. Bradberry also leapfrogged a cut-block and forced a fumble on Tyler Lockett.

“[Metcalf] is a tremendous player, a big, strong athlete — and James did a good job of getting in there and finishing the tackle,” Judge said. “But tackling the ball with that punch-out with his right hand and really jarring that ball loose, that could have been a huge play. It just shows the focus that these guys have to finish.”


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