The injury Amukamara sustained (fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his foot) is a common one among athletes, but it is not yet known how much time he will miss. William Beatty suffered the same injury last year and missed seven weeks. The injury requires surgery in which a screw will be inserted into his foot to optimize healing.
From what I've read, the best case scenario would see him on crutches for four to six weeks and have him back on the practice field after about seven to eight weeks. The worst case scenario would see his entire rookie season wiped out.
But even before this injury was sustained, it was possible that Amukamara wouldn't have had a huge impact. He was the last first rounder to sign, and was already facing an uphill battle to contribute immediately. As Coach Coughlin put it, the playbook would be "chinese" to him.
Even with the loss of fellow corner back Bruce Johnson, the Giants have three solid corner backs that are ahead of Amukamara on the depth chart. Best case scenario was that he would have seen some action in nickel and dime packages and slowly take over the third CB role as he gained experience.
Now Amukamara will have to learn the playbook without being able to actually go through the motions on the practice field. This will obviously delay his development significantly. There's no scenario in which I could see him contributing before the Giants' week seven bye, and even expecting him to see the field by mid-season is optimistic. Yes, Beatty returned after seven weeks, but he was not a rookie with only one practice under his belt when he sustained his injury.
What was once a strength for the Giants is suddenly an area needing added depth. The Giants have not brought back free agent safety Deon Grant, one of last season's unsung heroes, but perhaps that is something Jerry Reese should look into. The loss of Bruce Johnson is not a terrible one; word is that Brian Witherspoon has looked good in camp. But if the Giants are going to compete in a division ripe with receiving talent, they are going to need their remaining defensive backs to stay healthy and play up to their high potential.
For now, Prince Amukamara will have plenty of time to sit back and study the playbook and maybe even watch his fellow defensive backs gain that all important game-speed experience. On the plus side, the eight million dollar contract he signed on Friday will buy him a very comfortable chair.
Follow Rich: @RichResch