B.J. Goodson felt it to his core on every defensive series for the Giants the past two weeks, and it did not feel good.
“It was very tough,” he said, “not as far as the injury goes, but as far as watching the guys out there. At the beginning of every series I would get a gut feeling, like, damn, I wish I could be out there.”
What made it worse for the middle linebacker was how many of those series unfolded as he sat out with a shin injury. The Giants gave up a total of 331 rushing yards in the two games and now rank last in the NFL in rushing defense, part of why they are 0-3.
Goodson hopes to help starting Sunday against the Buccaneers. He has practiced all week on a limited basis, and he said on Friday that he is “feeling good, man. Feeling great.”
“Just hoping I can go out and lead the troops. I’m not into any expectations. I just want to go out and have fun with the guys that I sweat and bleed with, that’s the main thing.”
Goodson had 18 tackles in a Week 1 loss to the Cowboys. Undrafted rookie Calvin Munson filled in in his absence.
“I’m not about pointing any fingers,” Goodson said of the run struggles. “[There are] things we obviously need to get fixed, come together and play as a team and go out and have fun. That’s something that I feel has been lacking – fun.”
Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will be happy to have him back.
“B.J., he takes a lot of pride in being a downhill linebacker and tackling and being a physical guy,” Spagnuolo said, “so if we can get him back, that certainly would help some things.”
It will take more than Goodson to turn it around, of course. Better tackling would help.
“It’s very surprising; nobody saw that coming,” tackle and run-stopping savant Damon Harrison said. “But it’s all things that we can get corrected and get corrected fast. It’s not a matter of guys not being able to do it. It’s just actually doing it and doing it with some authority. I don’t think we’ve been doing that.”
Goodson wants to be a part of the solution.
“You sweat and bleed with these guys all camp and all OTA s and before that,” he said. “I want to be out there, man. I want to be out there with my guys and lead the troops.”