Nick Gates optimistic his Giants career will eventually continue

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • New York Giants
    New York Giants
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Nick Gates
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Shane Lemieux
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|

The 2021 season was nothing short of disastrous for the New York Giants and now that its over, there’s so much to unpack no one really knows where to start, so I’ll start with the low-hanging fruit — the offensive line.

The line began the year with high hopes, even though the front office did nothing to augment it after they were forced to let their best lineman (Kevin Zeitler) go due to salary cap restraints.

That left the team strapped at guard, relying on second-year player Shane Lemieux and Will Hernandez, a former starter who had fallen out of favor in 2020. But Lemieux, who was dealing with a knee issue all summer, didn’t make it through the first game of the season and was placed on season-ending IR in September with a partially-torn patellar tendon.

The Giants had already secured the services of Ben Bredeson through a trade with Baltimore and he slid into Lemieux’s spot. Bredeson, however, lasted one game himself, injured his hand and was spelled the reminder of the season by free agent Matt Skura.

The Giants were fortunate that Hernandez was able to answer the bell for all 17 games this season but he appears to be headed for free agency come March. It is unlikely the Giants will get into a bidding war to keep him.

The tackle positions were supposed to be manned by second-year players Andrew Thomas and Matt Peart. Thomas had a solid season but Peart did not progress the way the team had hoped and was replaced by veteran Nate Solder at right tackle, which was not ideal.

At center, the Giants were going with Nick Gates again. Gates, a former UDFA who had played both guard and tackle, was thrust into the center role in 2020 with no prior experience at the position at any level. He struggled but showed enough improvement to win he job for 2021.

Unfortunately, Gates fractured his leg in Week 2 and was lost for the season. He was replaced by Billy Price, who the Giants had acquired from Cincinnati before the season. Price was a former first-round pick out of Ohio State that had found himself on the roster bubble with the Bengals.

After getting his feet wet, Price played fairly well and settled into the job. That gives the Giants some security for the future at center, especially if Gates can make it back, which was in question at the time of his injury.

These days, Gates is optimistic his football career will continue on. The Giants are hopeful as well. On Monday, Gates updated reporters on his progress.

“I’m doing good,” Gates said. “I’m making good steps and good strides in my rehab. I can’t really tell you a specific timeline on when I’m going to be back or not. I’m just taking it day by day, just trying to get better each day and just listening to what the trainers are saying.

“My plan is to get back on the field as fast as possible. I don’t know if it’s going to be this year or whatever, but just taking it day by day.”

The Giants and their fans are rooting for Gates’ return. That, however, will not preclude them from adding several offensive linemen in the upcoming draft and continuing to upgrade the line.

List

2022 free agency: Should Giants re-sign these players or let them go?