The New York Giants will now have to move forward through the 2021 season without arguably their best player on defense as linebacker Blake Martinez, a team captain and defensive signal-caller, will miss the rest of the season after he suffered a torn ACL, the team announced on Monday. The non-contact injury occurred on the opening drive of New York's 17-14 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Martinez was trying to chase down Falcons running back Cordarrelle Patterson and went down awkwardly. He then needed assistance from trainers getting to the sideline and eventually departed into the locker room. He was ruled out for the game not too long after leaving the field.
Naturally, this is a massive blow to a Giants defense that allowed the Falcons to drive 58 yards down the field with just 1:50 left in the game to set up the game-winning field goal. This was the second week in a row New York's defense gave up a last-second field goal and the Giants are now 0-3 to start the season. The loss of Martinez only adds to the growing concern on that side of the ball.
Coming into Week 3, Martinez -- who signed a three-year, $30 million deal back in 2020 -- led the Giants with 21 tackles. This season-ending injury now breaks the linebacker's streak of four consecutive seasons with at least 144 tackles. During his first season in New York last year, Martinez totaled 151 tackles, three sacks, five pass breakups and two forced fumbles.