EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Jon Beason's journey to the regular season has taken a detour, but he still hopes to play on opening night in Detroit.
"The prognosis is X amount of time and it (the Sept. 8 opener) is within that timeframe," Beason said today. "I expect to be back (for that game). If not, I'll be back as soon as I can. That's really how you have to look at it. If it's not 16 (games played), maybe it's 15 or 14. Whatever it is, you want it to be that number as opposed to one.
Beason was hurt defending a pass play during the Giants' practice. He left the field under his own power, was immediately examined by the team's medical staff and taken inside on a cart before traveling to the hospital.
"It's just one of those things – you have freak injuries," Beason said. "I was just changing directions. I would say that the movement was a little unorthodox, I was flexing with the big toe in the ground and then I pivoted on it all the way around. It's a movement that I often do that allows me to come in and out of my breaks faster. I literally felt like I stepped in like a sprinkler head hole. I just felt it give right away, so the next step I knew I couldn't put the foot down.
"I had a bad feeling. I really felt that I that I had torn the extensor, which is the tendon with the muscle, it's how your big toe functions. That would have been season-ending. So at least now there's a procedure, possibly. We haven't decided if it's something that's invasive or something that you just kind of let heal on its own. The timeframe is about the same, but it's not season-ending, so I'm happy about that."
Beason is one of the Giants' most prominent and important players. The three-time Pro Bowler is a leader in the middle of the defense and is considered a top candidate to replace the departed Justin Tuck as a captain of the unit. Though he played in just 11 games on defense for the Giants last season, Beason finished second on the team with 98 tackles. He had at least eight tackles in a game eight times.
"I know that mentally you can't get down on yourself," Beason said. "You have to understand the situation and what you can control. The toughest part is knowing that there are a lot of people obviously in the locker room, the coaching staff, the organization and even the city that are counting on me to do my part and do it well. And it's unfortunate because I worked so hard training. I feel great, I'm in good shape, I'm moving around a lot faster than I have in recent years. To have this setback kind of gets you back down to ground zero and then you have to work yourself back into football shape again. That's disheartening, but it's something that I think I can accomplish even under bad circumstances."
The treatment options will be determined after Dr. Anderson examines Beason and consults with Dr. O'Malley. Anderson is the team orthopedist of the Carolina Panthers, for whom Beason played from 2007 until his trade to the Giants last Oct. 4. Anderson operated on Beason's torn Achilles tendon in 2011.
"He knows my body," Beason said. "I think the world of him. I was impartial to doing it here with Dr. O'Malley, but I think they wanted to make me feel comfortable to go down there and get a second opinion. He wants to do some more tests to determine what he thinks is best and then those two will sit down and figure out the best plan for me.
"I'm prepared for (their decision). I know what I have to do and I'm going to do it well. I'm certain that we'll get the result we need. I'm in good hands, the proper methodology, and it should work and then you go from there. It's easy when you're driven, you have a goal in mind and that's to play on the opener and obviously be the best player I can be to help this organization win, help my teammates win and to have a successful season. That's it."
Until Beason returns, fourth-year pro Mark Herzlich, offseason acquisition Jameel McClain and fifth-round draft choice Devon Kennard are expected to split time at middle linebacker.