Giants Lose Rookie Lineman to Season-Ending Injury

Brian Daboll

Getty Images Brian Daboll talks with Daniel Jones during training camp in 2022.

The New York Giants announced that rookie offensive lineman Marcus McKethan has been placed the reserve/injured list as he will miss the 2022 NFL season after suffering a torn ACL.

McKethan, who was selected in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL draft, suffered the injury during the team’s Fan Fest scrimmage on Friday night at MetLife Stadium. He was carted off the field and after undergoing testing , the worst news was brought out.

New York has now lost two Giants rookies to injury during training camp. Other than McKethan, fourth-round pick safety Dane Belton suffered a broken collarbone and will be out for the preseason.

The Giants’ depth to their offensive line has taken a hit in training camp. McKethan is the second backup offensive lineman that the team has lost over the last few days. According to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, offensive tackle Matt Gono is expected to retire due to a neck injury that he started experiencing this week. Second-year offensive lineman Matt Peart is already on the Physically Unable to Perform List due to an ACL injury he suffered last season.

Veteran tackle Will Holden was signed by the Giants on August 5 as a replacement for Gono.

McKethan’s Journey

McKethan and Giants offensive lineman Joshua Ezeudu were both college teammates at North Carolina. Ezeudu was drafted in the third round as the 67th overall pick, with McKethan being drafted in the fifth round.

Head coach Brian Daboll spoke on Aug. 4 about the two player’s skillsets and attitudes during the training camp.

“Much like everybody else, some good, some bad.” Daboll said. “They’re working hard. They’re trying to do the things the way we’re asking them to do. They have good physical demeanor about themselves. They pick things up well. There was a lot of good reps out there for them, and some they probably wish they had back, but that’s for all of us.”

McKethan became the right guard starter at North Carolina for 12 of 13 appearances as a sophomore. He earned two honorable mentions All-ACC in 2020 and 2021.

Coming into the NFL, McKethan practiced as the Giants’ backup right guard during training camp. He also took some reps at right tackle.

General manager Joe Schoen drafted three offensive linemen in the 2022 NFL draft. Other than McKethan, Evan Neal was taken in Round 1 (No. 7 overall) and McKethan’s North Carolina teammate and Ezeudu, was taken in Round 3 (No. 67 overall).

What’s Next?

It’s likely that the Giants will add depth at guard after the unfortunate news to McKethan. That’s what the team did once Gono was hit with the crushing career-ending injury.

The Giants signed Holden to replace Gono, who has appeared in 27 games over five seasons with eight teams. He played with the Detroit Lions in 2021, appearing in 14 games and starting one game. The 28-year-old would post a 60.8 Pro Football Focus grade with Detroit.

Holden was a fifth-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals in 2017. He played in 11 games and started in 7 of them from 2017 to 2018, before signing with the Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens and Lions.

He also returned twice with both the Cardinals and Colts.

The Ravens signed Holden in 2020 and played in one game each for Baltimore and Colts.

Coach Daboll gave his plan on who he should play on the offensive line against the New England Patriots in the team’s first preseason game next week.

“We’re going to keep rotating the players around,” Daboll said. “There’s obviously certain guys that – Andrew Thomas is our left tackle. But I think the more guys that can get reps, you know, if Andrew Thomas comes out in a preseason game, then who’s going to go ahead and go in for him? And the more position flexibility they can create for themselves – and maybe you find something, a good combination that works – but right now we’re going to mix and match. And eventually we’ll settle on the five that are out there; I think that’s important to have some good communication with one another. But I think when you work with other guys, that helps the communication process as well.”

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