Just when you thought the Golden Tate saga was behind us, Thursday hit.
The veteran wideout exited late in Thursday’s practice session with a knee injury. While the extent of Tate’s injury is currently unclear, a person with knowledge of the situation informed NJ.com that the Giants are “cautiously optimistic that Tate did not sustain a serious injury.”
That sentiment was also shared with ESPN’s Jordan Raanan:
“Doesn’t appear that this is going to be anything serious. At least that is the original belief,” Raanan tweeted. “Not one of those instances where a guy blows out his knee at practice and everybody knows it on the spot.”
Tate will undergo further evaluation and testing on his knee, leaving his availability for Sunday’s bout against the Philadelphia Eagles up in the air. The wideout was notably a healthy scratch this past week as a disciplinary measure for voicing his desire for more touches directly to a Monday Night Football camera. He was scheduled to speak with the media on Thursday for the first time since his benching, but was pulled from the zoom call following his injury.
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Tate No Longer a Focal Point in Giants’ Offense
Tate, the team’s leader in targets a season ago, has seen his usage dwindle in his second year in East Rutherford, being delegated to a fourth or fifth option in Big Blue’s passing game. Over his past three games, Tate has hauled in a total of four receptions on just six targets.
If Tate is unavailable for Week 10, expect UDFA Austin Mack to once again step up in his place. The former Ohio State standout led New York is both receptions and yards a week ago, snagging four receptions for 72 receiving yards.
If Tate is able to give it a go on Sunday, he’ll be doing so against some familiar faces. The wideout played eight regular-season games with the Eagles back in 2018, as a trade deadline acquisition. Tate finished his Philadelphia career with 30 receptions for 278 receiving yards and one touchdown.
Devonta Freeman Suffers Setback?
Starting Giants running back Devonta Freeman has missed each of the past two games due to a lingering ankle injury. On Thursday he suffered what sources close to NFL Network’s Ian Rapport described as “a minor aggravation.”
Wayne Gallman has stepped up to the plate in Freeman’s absence of late. Fresh off a 14 carry, 68-yard performance, both season-highs, Gallman is currently riding a three-game touchdown streak. His recent play has earned him praise from Giants legends and divisional foes alike.
Wide Receiver Sterling Shepard was a limited participant in Thursday’s session due to toe and hip injuries. Shepard has been a constant on the team’s injury report since returning from IR in Week 7. As has been the case over the past few weeks, he should be good to go come game time, barring any unforeseen setbacks.
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