Giants LB Blake Martinez done for season with torn ACL: source

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Giants ILB Blake Martinez tore his ACL and is done for the season, according to a source.

This is an enormous loss for the Giants (0-3), who are reeling after Sunday’s 17-14 defeat to the Atlanta Falcons.

“Losing Blake, you hate it for Blake because he’s a guy that brings a lot of leadership and passion to this team,” coach Joe Judge said Monday on Zoom.

“Comeback starts now!” Martinez wrote in an upbeat Instagram post.

Martinez, who was third in the NFL with 151 tackles last season, got hurt in Sunday’s first quarter when he was juked by Falcons WR Cordarrelle Patterson and planted to try and recover.

He went straight down onto his stomach and stayed down, needing help off the field. He walked gingerly into the locker room but the Giants quickly ruled him out of the game.

Now his season is over, and it will be tough for coordinator Pat Graham’s defense to recover.

Martinez, 27, is not only a captain, he is the defense’s signal-caller, Graham’s conduit to the field.

Middle linebacker Tae Crowder took over those duties for the rest of Sunday’s loss to Atlanta, and Judge said he liked how Crowder handled having the “green dot” on his helmet. (The dot signifies which player is calling the defensive plays.)

But a reliable veteran playcaller to back up Martinez is something the Giants had been looking for in the offseason and failed to find. They thought they had it in Todd Davis, but the veteran retired two days after signing early in camp.

So now they’ll experiment with other linebackers calling the plays this week, too.

“In terms of who will have the green dot directly this week, it will be a mix of either Tae Crowder or working with either Reggie Ragland, Justin Hilliard or any other linebackers at the game,” Judge said. “Overall, I thought Tae played a good game. There were some things we want to clean up here or there, but I thought in terms of him jumping into the position as a signal caller, it was something we work on during the week to make sure he’s ready if it comes up. I thought he did a good job of that.

“We had the one communication issue where the headset went down in the game and we had to call a timeout,” Judge said. “Other than that, he was very good with making sure everyone had the call, got it directly, got his guys lined up. I thought he played well.”

The injuries aren’t just limited to Martinez, whose torn ACL was first reported by ESPN.

Receivers Darius Slayton (hamstring) and Sterling Shepard (hamstring) also left Sunday’s game in the first half for good. The severity of their injuries is not yet known, but it sounds like one is doing better than the other.

“We’re actually waiting on both guys,” Judge said. “I think both guys’ [injuries] are really different. I don’t think either one is the same deal.”