The hits just seem to keep on coming for the New York Giants.
After a strong start to their Thursday night matchup with the Washington Football Team – the Giants lost arguably their best offensive lineman in Nick Gates – before suffering a brutal 30-29 defeat to begin the season 0-2 for the fifth straight year.
Gates went down with what looked to be a serious leg injury in the first quarter. He was then placed in an air cast and carted off the field, which is never a good sign.
Shortly thereafter, the team announced that Gates suffered a lower leg fracture, which means he is likely headed for injured reserve.
Gates, who emerged as the Giants’ starting center last season, was moved to guard in their second game of action this year, after Shane Lemieux was placed on I.R. with a torn patellar tendon in his knee.
But with Gates now going down as well, the Giants have potentially lost two starting offensive linemen for the rest of the year through their first two games of the season.
Ben Bredeson came on to replace Gates in this contest, and Billy Price was starting at center in this game, which initially moved Gates over to left guard tonight prior to his injury.
After the game, the Giants announced that Gates was transported to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where he will spend the night. Gates is scheduled to undergo surgery to repair his leg fracture on Friday morning.
Future of the OL
With the loss of Gates, the Giants’ shaky offensive line gets even dicier.
As previously mentioned, Bredeson replaced Gates at left guard, and did a decent enough job, which will likely allow him to remain the starter moving forward – for now.
The Giants also signed Matt Skura, who was on their practice squad, to the active roster earlier today. Skura spent the past four seasons as a starter for the Baltimore Ravens and has experience at both center and guard.
Once Skura becomes more comfortable in the Giants’ system, he could possibly step in on the interior if Bredeson or Price aren’t cutting it.
Regardless, the Giants just can’t seem to catch a break lately, and the recent injuries to Gates and Lemieux only exemplify their tough luck.
Return of Engram Looming?
Giants fifth-year tight end Evan Engram has now missed his second straight game to start the regular season.
In a short week, Engram was not expected to make it back in time to play on Thursday night. However, he went through pregame warmups, despite being ruled inactive prior to the evening.
Engram had a strong training camp and preseason, but went down with a calf injury in the Giants’ final exhibition game against the New England Patriots.
With 2021 being the final year of his rookie contract, the pressure is on Engram to get back on the field. And once he returns, he must have a bounce-back season, as he is playing for his next deal in the NFL.
Despite making his first Pro Bowl appearance last season, Engram led the league with 11 drops. Regardless, the Giants can use a player of Engram’s talent on an offense that has yet to find its rhythm since Jason Garrett took over as the offensive coordinator in 2020.
On the bright side, Engram’s increased activity makes Week 3 look like a realistic target date for him to make his season debut.