Linebacker Blake Martinez, one of the Giants’ captains and their defensive leader, had his worst fears confirmed when doctors determined he had torn his ACL early in the Giants’ 17-14 loss, according to an NFL source. It was what they feared from the moment he went down with that non-contact injury just five plays into the game when he was attempting to tackle Atlanta’s Cordarrelle Patterson.
Martinez had to be helped up and off the field and the Giants very quickly ruled him out of the game with the knee injury. They thought it was an ACL injury from the start, the source said, but further tests confirmed it.
And now the Giants’ reeling defense will have to fix all their issues without their leading tackler from last season. The 27-year-old Martinez had 151 tackles in his first year with the Giants after signing a three-year, $30.75 million contract with $19 million guaranteed. He also had an interception, two forced fumbles, and three sacks and was shaping up as one of the most successful free agent signings of the Dave Gettleman Era.
Without him on Sunday, the Giants’ defense did OK holding the Falcons to just a touchdown before melting down in the fourth quarter and giving up two scoring drives.
Martinez was replaced by veteran Reggie Ragland and, at times, second-year pro Tae Crowder. Those two will likely battle for Martinez’s spot the rest of the way.
Martinez, for his part, is already apparently plotting his comeback. On Monday morning he tweeted “About to be one hell of a story!!”
It’s a story, though, that will have to wait until 2022.