Kevin Boss sustains concussion

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants tight end Kevin Boss was knocked out of Sunday's season-opening win over the Carolina Panthers with a neck injury and a concussion.

Boss was taken off the field on a cart after he was hit in the back of the head by Carolina safety Sherrod Martin in the first quarter and did not return to the game.

The NFL instituted a stricter concussion policy in December 2009 that stated players who show signs or symptoms of a concussion cannot return to the field on the same day.

Boss was hit in the back of the head by Martin's helmet as he came down after trying to corral an Eli Manning pass on second-and-23 from the Giants' 31-yard line at 11:19 of the first quarter.

Boss got onto the cart on his own and was sitting up as he was carted off the field. He spent the second half of the Giants' 31-18 win over the Panthers on the sideline.

Backup tight end Travis Beckum replaced Boss on Sunday. He and Boss are the only tight ends on the Giants' 53-man roster. Tackle William Beatty was forced to line up at tight end on a few plays.

Beckum said he spoke with Boss in the locker room at halftime and on the sideline in the second half. He indicated that Boss was unaffected by the collision.

"He's doing fine. It's just a little hit to the back of the head. He was perfect," Beckum said.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin did not have an update on Boss' condition after the game.

Boss is no stranger to helmet-to-helmet collisions. He took a helmet-to-helmet hit from then-Cardinals safety Antrel Rolle last season and another from Chargers safety Eric Weddle. The hits occurred in back-to-back weeks but Boss and team doctors said at the time that he did not have a concussion.

Boss' status for the Giants' Week 2 game in Indianapolis is unclear.

Beatty, who lined up as an eligible receiver on several plays against the Panthers, injured his right foot in the fourth quarter and was in a walking cast after the game. The results of X-rays taken on his foot weren't immediately available.

Coughlin said the Giants had prepared for life without Boss by working on offensive sets with Beckum and Beatty at tight end. In all likelihood, the Giants will be looking to add a tight end if they lose Boss for an extended period.

"We were forced to use those combinations much earlier than we would have hoped," the Giants coach said. "We also came out of some things that we just weren't able to do so we had to scramble a little bit to get back and narrow in on what we could and couldn't do but we made a nice adjustment there. The offensive coaches did a real nice job of adjusting and I think we were able to go forward."

Beckum, who finished with two catches for 11 yards against the Panthers, said he was comfortable taking over as the starting tight end if necessary.

"Once one guy goes down, somebody has to step up in his place. Him going down, I mean [it's unfortunate] but somebody's got to do it and that's what I did," Beckum said.

Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.