The dreaded cart made its first appearance at Giants OTAs on Thursday to haul away an injured player, and it was a player the Giants can least afford to be without.
Middle linebacker Jon Beason needed the motorized help to go to the trainer's room after he limped off the field with a foot injury midway through the next-to-last OTA workout. He was taken to the Hospital for Special Surgery for examination and no immediate diagnosis was given.
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"He was running across the field and felt something in the bottom of his foot,'' Tom Coughlin said, later clarifying that he wasn't sure if it was the top or bottom of the foot.
It was concerning enough that safeties Stevie Brown and Antrel Rolle approached Beason while he was being attended to by the medical staff on the sideline.
"Beason is one of my guys, whether on the field or off the field,'' Brown said. "I just wanted to tell him I was with him.''
Brown said he didn't know how serious Beason's injury is, but he said the linebacker was not all that vexed.
"Beason is very in tune with his body,'' Brown said. "It wasn't one of those things where he looked too down or anything. He just wants to make sure his body is right.''
Beason has a history of knee injuries, including microfracture surgery that effectively ended his tenure with the Panthers before he was traded to the Giants last season. That past certainly lent volume to the alarm sirens that sounded when Beason limped off. He does not have any known history of foot troubles.
The Giants re-signed Beason during the offseason to a three-year deal worth up to $19 million. He was healthy enough to play in every game and virtually every snap for the Giants after they acquired him in a trade in Week 4 and became an immediate leader for the defense.
With Beason sidelined, rookie Devon Kennard stepped in as the middle linebacker, his first time playing with the starters. He also took over the job of calling the defense and making adjustments.
"It was a good experience,'' the fifth-round pick from USC said. "Being around all the vets, it kind of calms you down even more and you get to settle in and just worry about your job . . . When that opportunity came today, it was a smooth transition and I stepped up and did what I needed to do.''
Notes & quotes:Coughlin said the installation of the new offense is "slow'' and that the entire system will not be introduced to the players by the time minicamp ends next week. "Our meetings will be extended when we come back [for training camp in July], and I think that will help a lot,'' he said . . . Coughlin said LT Will Beatty, who fractured his leg last Dec. 29, is expected back on the field at or near the start of camp . . . WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) and RB Peyton Hillis (undisclosed) missed the last week with injuries, but both said they expect to be back for minicamp.