EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Injured middle linebacker Jon Beason said Friday he is hopeful he can play in a preseason game for the New York Giants.
Beason has been sidelined since breaking a bone in his right foot and incurring ligament damage in June. The 29-year-old Beason is running on an underwater treadmill, is active in the weight room, and he's eager to get back on the field.
But he says he won't do anything foolish and suffer a setback in his recovery.
''If you go too fast, all of a sudden you have a setback and now all of a sudden you're pushing that timetable of Sept. 8,'' he said of the regular-season opener at Detroit. ''So we want to be smart about it. Obviously, I'm going to do what they tell me, but I would love to get in the preseason and get some reps.''
Beason was acquired last October and his first game was the sixth straight loss for the Giants to open the season. But they went 7-3 the rest of the way, and the defense that had struggled before he arrived finished eighth in the NFL overall.
Veteran Jameel McClain and fifth-round draft pick Devon Kennard have stepped in with Beason sidelined. Beason has liked what he's seen from both of them and from the linebacking unit as a whole.
Still, he prefers to be the guy in the middle. So watching isn't easy.
''Unfortunately, I've done it before,'' he said of previous major injuries, including a torn Achilles tendon and a knee problem. ''I hate it more than anything because you want to get that cohesiveness with the guys you are playing with.
''You're expected to play every single down; I am. That is where the conditioning, cardio, all that stuff comes into play.''
The Giants begin the preseason with an Aug. 3 matchup against Buffalo in the Hall of Fame game. After that, they play Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, the Jets and New England.
Beason is not predicting when he might get in some action.
''You don't put much stock in them,'' he said of the exhibition games. ''But you need them to get ready. If you want to play at a high level consistently, you have to have that game shape, that football shape. That is what you miss when you don't have training camp. That is why you don't show up on the 8th and play football.''
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