The New York Giants are already starting their season on the wrong foot. Their fourth-round rookie safety, Dane Belton, suffered a broken collarbone early into camp. This is a tough blow for the Giants as Belton had already been turning heads with his play on the field. Although a collarbone break is still a serious injury and something that Belton and the Giants would have preferred to avoid, however, it is by no means a season-ending injury. Barring any setbacks in the recovery process, Belton should not miss much if any of the regular season.
How Long Until His Expected Return
As previously mentioned, Belton will not miss much time at all over the regular season. It is expected that Belton will be back shortly before the regular season begins. This sets him right on track to make his rookie debut in the first game of the year. It is a shame that Belton will end up missing the rest of camp along with the preseason. This would have been a perfect opportunity just coming into the league to begin to adjust to the professional game and find areas in which he needs to immediately improve before the regular season begins. Even though he will miss this period of time, it is by no means the end of the world. Most of the NFL does not take the preseason very seriously and use it as a chance to see how their rookies play, if their starting unit looks alright, and which players will thrive and earn a roster spot. With Belton’s spot on the team likely being locked in for the next couple of years, missing his first preseason should not end up having a major impact on him this year or his career as a whole.
What This Means For the New York Giants This Season
Belton is slotted in as the New York Giants‘ backup free safety, sitting behind Julian Love. As a result of this, there will not be a huge effect on the team as a whole if Belton is forced to miss a game or two due to his collarbone. The only way in which this injury could cause some major issues for the Giants is if Love also goes down with an injury or receives a suspension during the preseason or very early in the regular season. Belton had a very solid college career with the Iowa Hawkeyes. He spent three years with the program and put up very respectable stats during his time there. In his final season with Iowa, Belton had 46 total tackles, five interceptions, and seven pass breakups. He has a lot of potential to be a player that makes an impact on the team this season. He is coming into the league NFL ready and if he is able to make a similar jump from his junior to rookie season that he had in his sophomore to junior year, Belton could be gunning for the starting free safety spot by the end of the season.