logan ryan tae crowder giants
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Giants inside linebacker Tae Crowder is expected to assume a more notable defensive role in the absence of Blake Martinez.

Blake Martinez is done for the year.

The quarterback of this Giants defense suffered a torn ACL during last week’s loss to Atlanta. Big Blue’s unit, which has struggled already this season, must move forward with reinforcement options.

There are numerous individuals already part of the 11-man group who can assume more of a leadership role in Martinez’s absence, including safety Logan Ryan, who spoke with the media Friday.

But all eyes are on Tae Crowder, now the team’s top inside linebacker.

“I could put that pressure on myself to do more, but I can’t replace Blake. No one can,” Ryan said. “I’ve got to do my job and there’s a lot on my plate already as a signal-caller on our defense, a leader that will line us up a couple of times and then everything that I have to do in the multiple positions I play.

“A guy like Tae Crowder to step up, have his best game in his NFL career so far, in the midst of getting the green dot in the middle of the game. I think guys like that, opportunities man. That’s what happens in the NFL. I didn’t come in an established leader. I had to earn my opportunities and when my opportunities came, I ran with it. Tae Crowder got an opportunity last week, he did really well. Reggie [Ragland], he’s here for a reason. He’s played a lot of football. He filled in and he did pretty good, too. Obviously, we can’t replace Blake, but guys have got more opportunities. Guys stepped up last week, so I don’t have to do more and JB [James Bradberry] doesn’t have to do more. We’ve got to trust everyone who’s out there and I trust Tae a lot.”

In the Week 3 defeat, Crowder racked up 11 combined tackles (four solo) and one pass breakup. He’s dealing with a hamstring injury that’s led to him being questionable for this Sunday’s game against the Saints but is expected to play.

There was thought to the Giants potentially signing veteran linebacker Jamie Collins, who the Lions recently released. However, there’s a good chance the Giants start Reggie Ragland alongside Crowder in the 3-4 defensive scheme this Sunday.

Ragland combined for four tackles (three solo) against the Falcons and took part on 65% of the defensive reps due to Martinez’s early exit.

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.