Giants' Jake Ballard has torn ACL

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- One area the New York Giants will have to shore up in the offseason for their title defense is tight end.

The Giants announced Tuesday that tight end Jake Ballard tore his left anterior cruciate ligament during the second half of Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday. Ballard underwent an MRI that revealed the results. Initially the team was hoping that Ballard had suffered a meniscus injury.

The Giants nearly had their entire tight end depth wiped out in their Super Bowl win over the Patriots. Tight end Travis Beckum tore his ACL during the first half of the 21-17 win. With Beckum and Ballard now looking at a long rehab that could have them starting the 2012 season on the Physically Unable to Perform list, the Giants are down to Bear Pascoe at tight end on the active roster. Christian Hopkins is a tight end on the practice squad as well.

Ballard, an undrafted free agent like Victor Cruz, had a breakout season in his second year replacing the departed Kevin Boss. Ballard had 38 catches for 604 yards and four touchdowns, but his season was slowed by a right PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) knee injury toward the end of the year. Ballard, who had several big catches this season including the game-winning touchdown in New England in early November, missed the last two games of the season but fought through the injury in the postseason before tearing his left ACL.

Beckum, a third-round pick in 2009, finished with five receptions for 93 yards, including a 67-yard touchdown catch against the Packers during the regular season.

Both Ballard and Beckum participated in Tuesday's parade down the Canyon of Heroes and the pep rally in New Jersey walking around on crutches.

Ohm Youngmisuk covers the Giants for ESPNNewYork.com.