Nick Gates’ return has inspired Giants: ‘You root for guys like that’

For the New York Giants, their weakest unit has consistently been the offensive line dating back to 2012. Over the past few years, one of the few bright spots was Nick Gates.

Gates suffered a severe leg injury last season, ending his 2021 campaign and at one point some believed it might have been career-threatening.

Now, a year later, Gates is back on the practice field for Big Blue with hopes of returning to the active roster.

On Wednesday, Gates suited up for practice for the first time since his injury and was able to break down the Giants’ huddle beforehand.

“I was just excited to be back out there. I just wanted to go out there and just play football again. Not have to think, not have to worry about making calls — just go out there and play football,” Gates told reporters. “It was fun, it was fun to be back out there with the guys. That comradery, you don’t get that when you’re just by yourself doing (independent work) or off to the side. It was good to be back in there with the guys.”

The Giants’ offense has left plenty to be desired on the field and could use the Gates of old in a big way. It is tough to know how game-ready Gates will be following his recovery and time away from the field, but he isn’t thinking that far ahead. Yet.

“I don’t know, I don’t want to jump that far ahead. I’ve just got to take it day by day and get myself back up to where I was before I got hurt. I’m just thinking of the next day ahead,” Gates, who had seven total surgeries, said.

The decision to have Gates lead the Giants’ walkthrough huddle was a nice gesture from head coach Brian Daboll.

“Impressive. We had a walkthrough earlier and had him break down the team. Much respect to really anybody that comes back from injuries, but his injuries were significant. All the surgeries and he’s had nothing but a positive mindset since he’s been here,” Daboll said. “The guys were hooting and hollering when he was breaking them down. You root for guys like that. It’s a tough industry we’re in, in terms of physical things that can happen. Just a lot of respect for him and what he’s done and proud of the young man.”

The presence of Gates can mean nothing but good things for the Giants, whether he’s on the 53-man roster or not.

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Story originally appeared on Giants Wire