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New York Giants middle linebacker Jon Beason, who injured his right foot during Thursday's OTA, suffered a ligament tear and a small fracture to the sesamoid, the team announced Friday.
Beason will be further examined Monday by foot and ankle specialist Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte, North Carolina, before a decision is made on how to treat the injury. But Beason's status for the Giants' regular-season opener on Sept. 8 in Detroit is certainly up in the air. His recovery could take 12 weeks, according to NFL Network.
"The prognosis is 'X' amount of time and it [the Sept. 8 opener] is within that timeframe," Beason said, in a press release issued by the team. "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, 29, played in just one game in 2011 with the Carolina Panthers because of a torn Achilles tendon, which was subsequently operated on by Dr. Anderson. He also played in just four games in 2012 before undergoing microfracture surgery on his knee.
But he played in all 12 games last year after the Giants acquired him in a trade in early October, and was second on the team with 93 tackles, despite spending only three-quarters of the season with New York.
The Giants re-signed the three-time Pro Bowler to a three-year, $16.8 million contract in March, banking on him to be a cornerstone of their defense going forward. Beason also had already assumed a major leadership role on the defense and in the locker room, despite his short tenure with the team.
"[Beason is] very important," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said Thursday, prior to knowing the extent of the injury. "Because of the nature of the player, the man, his attitude, what he brings to the table, his leadership skills."
Beason suffered the injury while covering a pass play during practice, changing directions.
"I had a bad feeling. I really felt 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," Beason said. "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."
Devon Kennard, a late fifth-round draft pick out of USC, stepped in for Beason with the Giants' first-team defense immediately after the injury occurred. The Giants also could plug in three-year veteran Mark Herzlich at middle linebacker, or move free-agent acquisition Jameel McClain to the middle.