Blake Martinez out for season with torn ACL in Giants crusher

The Giants were on the field for 131 defensive snaps in their first two games this season, and Blake Martinez was out there for every one of them. He started, as per usual, at inside linebacker in this past Sunday’s game against the Falcons, but lasted only the first five snaps on defense before his season came to an end.

Martinez went down with a non-contact knee injury when he tried and failed to tackle Cordarrelle Patterson on what turned into an eight-yard pass completion. At the time, it looked like a classic anterior cruciate ligament tear, and the Giants’ initial fear turned into reality Monday morning when the diagnosis was confirmed.

The Giants, 0-3 for the second consecutive season, have now lost two starters and team captains in the past two games. Center Nick Gates, moved to left guard for the game in Washington, suffered a lower leg fracture in Week 2 and is on season-ending injured reserve after surgery.

Martinez, 27, was replaced in the 17-14 loss to the Falcons by Reggie Ragland, a six-year veteran. In terms of what Martinez brings to the entire defense, he cannot be replaced, though.  He wore the helmet with the green dot, signifying the helmet with the radio transmitter used to relay the calls from defensive coordinator Pat Graham into the huddle. Martinez and Graham worked in concert and that connection is now broken for the remainder of the season.

Blake Martinez out for season with torn ACL in Giants crusher
Blake Martinez gets helped off the field after suffering a knee injury on Sept. 27, 2021.

Tae Crowder, a second-year linebacker who starts alongside Martinez, took the defensive calls from Graham after Martinez went out.

Martinez led the Giants in tackles in 2020 with 144, his first year with the team after signing a three-year, $30.7 million contract in free agency. Prior to that, Martinez had 144, 144 and 155 tackles as a three-year starter for the Packers.

Ragland, a product of Alabama, started 32 games in three years for the Chiefs and started six games in 2020 for the Lions. He is considered to be a strong run-stopper but does not have the versatility Martinez brought to the defense.