Giants Sign Veteran Starting Lineman After Losing OL to Career-Ending Injury

Will Holden

Getty Images Will Holden during a game in 2020.

The New York Giants have announced the signing of veteran offensive tackle Will Holden. In order to create a spot on the 90-man roster, the Giants waived third-year defensive end Niko Lalos.

The latest signing comes after the Giants placed Matt Gono on the exempt/left squad list on August 3, which is a list that is used for players contemplating retirement and opens up a roster spot to be used without cutting the player.

According to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, offensive tackle Matt Gono is expected to retire due to a neck injury that he started experiencing this week.

Andrew Thomas and Evan Neal are the team’s starting offensive tackles for the present and future. But before the signing of Holden, the Gono news left a concern at the Giants’ depth at tackle.

Rookie third-round pick Joshua Ezeudu could’ve been the next best option to step up if Neal or Thomas were to go down. Ezeudu had been working at both tackle positions during training camp. The rest of the tackle depth consists of Matt Peart (currently on Physically Unable to Perform List), Devery Hamilton, Marcus McKethan and Roy Mbaeteka.

Shane Lemieux, who has taken snaps at guard and center during the summer, has been willing to play tackle if needed.

The Giants did their due diligence and have now added experience at the tackle position.

Holden’s Career

Holden has appeared in 27 games over five seasons with eight teams. He recently played with the Detroit Lions in 2021, appearing in 14 games and starting one game. The 28-year-old posted a 60.8 Pro Football Focus grade with Detroit.

The veteran was a fifth-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals in 2017. He played in 11 games and started in 7 of them from 2017 to 2018, before signing with the Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens and Lions.

He also returned twice with both the Cardinals and Colts.

The Ravens signed Holden in 2020 and played in one game each for Baltimore and Colts.

Giants Offer Fan Fest on Friday

For the second time in the team’s history, the Giants are hosting Fan Fest at MetLife Stadium on August 5. The event will hold a team scrimmage with Giants legends signing autographs and a spectacular fireworks show after the event.

Giants head coach Brian Daboll, who’s entering his first year with the team, is thrilled to show the fans their abilities.

“Yeah, I think it’s awesome. I think it’s, you know, again, the more fans you have, the more juice you get as a player and as a coach,” Daboll told the media on Wednesday, via Giants’ Wire. “And I think it’s good. It’s the next step.

“Spring ball is obviously a lot different than training camp. You have the fans out here. There’s energy. There’s a lot of people watching. You try not to let the outside affect your performance. You try to concentrate on your job. But everybody’s human. So, the more people there are, there’s added pressure at times for certain players. And other times they can handle it. So, I think it’s just another step in getting ready for our preseason game.”

The Giants will have four more open practices after Friday’s Fan Fest, and then the team will play their first preseason game against the New England Patriots on August 11.

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