The pair of Giants interior offensive linemen suffered leg injuries and will be out for notable periods of time.
On Wednesday, second-year Giants left guard Shane Lemieux underwent knee surgery to repair a partial tear of his patellar tendon. According to Dan Salomone of the Giants official website, the procedure was expected to end Lemieux’s 2021 regular season.
However, head coach Joe Judge has provided an eye-opening update, and did so with some optimism in his voice.
Judge told the media Thursday that Lemieux’s procedure “might not be season-ending,” per Madelyn Burke of the team’s website. Thus, there’s a chance Shane could return at some point down the road.
Joe Judge is optimistic about #Giants OL Shane Lemieux, “The procedure he had might not be season-ending”
— Madelyn Burke (@MadelynBurke) September 23, 2021
Joe Judge said he wouldn’t rule out Shane Lemieux coming back later in the season. #Giants
— Zack Rosenblatt (@ZackBlatt) September 23, 2021
However, an additional statement in regard to the offensive line’s injury-related issues wasn’t as positive.
Center Nick Gates left the Week 2 matchup with Washington last week with a lower leg fracture, an injury that’ll certainly conclude his 2021 campaign. But according to Judge, the possibility remains that it’s more than just a season-ending issue.
More Joe Judge on Nick Gates: “We’re confident he’ll be able to come back, but yes, it could be career-ending.”
— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) September 23, 2021
Of course, that doesn’t mean this injury, which occurred early in the loss to the Football Team, will totally force the young Gates to walk away from the game. Regardless, “I’d be lying if I said no” isn’t exactly the response you want to hear to that type of question.
The Giants will likely progress with Ben Bredeson at left guard and Billy Price at center. We’ll continue to see in Week 3 (this Sunday against the Falcons) whether either individual will be a consistently reliable option moving forward.
Follow Ryan Honey on Twitter: @RyanHoneyESNY