Starting left guard Shane Lemieux was carted off the field during a training camp practice this week due to a knee injury.
It’s not the best-case scenario, but it’s far from the worst.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports Giants left guard Shane Lemieux will be out for a couple weeks with a knee injury but will not need to undergo surgery. Lemieux was carted off the field during Thursday’s training camp practice and didn’t practice Friday.
#Giants guard Shane Lemieux, one of their more underrated players, sustained a knee injury that should keep him just out a couple weeks, source said. Following a battery of tests, it was determined no surgery was needed. Major sigh of relief after Lemieux was carted off recently.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 31, 2021
The Giants seemingly portrayed optimism in regard to the situation. Head coach Joe Judge said in a Friday press conference “the worst-case scenario looks to have been avoided.” Lemieux was also with the team with his helmet on during Friday’s practice, which probably wouldn’t have been the case if the injury was more serious than it apparently is.
Big Blue’s regular-season opener against Denver — Sunday, Sept. 12, 4:25 p.m. ET at MetLife Stadium — is just over six weeks away, so Lemieux should be back by then barring any setbacks in his recovery.
Lemieux is slated to start at the left guard spot after he started there for the final nine games of his rookie campaign last year. The 2020 fifth-round draft pick out of Oregon took Will Hernandez‘s spot amid the 2018 second-rounder’s bout with COVID-19. Even when Hernandez was eventually active, the coaching staff felt Lemieux was a superior option for the role.
Shane is part of a young Giants offensive line that will have a crucial task protecting Daniel Jones this season. Lemieux, left tackle Andrew Thomas, and potential starting right tackle Matthew Peart are all in their second seasons. While Hernandez (possible starting right guard) is in his fourth year, center Nick Gates is in his second as a starting center (fourth season overall).
But while it’s a young unit, continuity is present. Thomas, Lemieux, Gates, Hernandez, and Peart were all with the organization last year and are expected to further build on-field chemistry among one another.
For the time being, it looks as if veteran Kenny Wiggins may continue filling in at left guard for Lemieux (he did so during Friday’s training camp practice). Zach Fulton, who the Giants signed to a one-year deal this offseason, is additionally an option.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports the team is expected to bring in center Austin Reiter for a visit, so he also could provide reinforcements. Reiter played in 15 games (12 starts) with Kansas City last year.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) July 31, 2021