Strong safety Landon Collins will not play on Sunday when the New York Giants take on the Washington Redskins in an NFC East rivalry game. He might not play for the remainder of the 2018 NFL season, which means he might have played his final game for the Giants.
New York coach Pat Shurmur announced on Wednesday that a shoulder injury could be season-ending for the former Alabama All-American.
“He’s got a shoulder injury that most likely will require surgery,” Shurmur said. “That hasn’t 100 percent been finalized, so he’s going through that process. …
“He won’t be playing this week. He’s out this week, and we’ll just have to see moving forward.”
Collins leads the Giants with 96 tackles. He’s been New York’s leading tackler annually since he joined the team as the first player picked in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
Collins has been selected as the NFC’s starting strong safety in the past two Pro Bowls and earned first-team All-Pro recognition in 2016, when he finished third in the balloting for the NFL Defensive Player of the Week Award.
Collins has missed one game previously for the Giants, when a broken forearm sidelined him for the final contest of the 2017 season.
“I think Landon displays what he is: He’s a very tough guy,” Shurmur said. “Very good tackler. He’s made a lot of good plays for us, especially close to the line of scrimmage. I’ve said it numerous times: In a sport where toughness is required, he’s got a lot of it. And so that’s what I appreciate about him.”
Collins’ four-year, $6,120,557 rookie contract is up at the end of the NFL’s 2018 business year in March, which will make him a free agent if the Giants don’t sign him or apply their franchise tag to him before then.
“He just showed me that he loves football, that he wanted to be here,” said Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins, a former North Alabama standout. “He was ready to play. Unfortunately, things like that happen in the game of football. He understands that. You always appreciate guys coming back knowing it’s their contract year. He just came out and played.”
More immediately, the Giants will try to beat the Redskins on the road on Sunday as New York plays out a season that’s produced a 4-8 record so far.
“Landon’s a huge part of our defense,” said Giants nose tackle Dalvin Tomlinson, a former Alabama teammate of Collins’. “It’s tough to replace that void. We’re going to have to have young guys step up. That’s the biggest thing. We’re going to have to have somebody step up in that position and just take on the role.”
New York safety Michael Thomas said somebody would play in Collins’ place, but replacing the safety was another matter.
“Obviously, we’re going to miss him,” Thomas said, “but it’s an opportunity for young guys to step up, new guys to set up. But you don’t just replace a guy like that — two-time Pro Bowl player, All-Pro safety. You don’t just replace that.”
The Giants and Redskins kick off at noon CST Sunday at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. Washington has a 6-6 record and enters the game on a three-game losing streak after losing two quarterbacks to broken legs in 2018.
Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @AMarkG1.