The knee injury Shane Lemieux suffered in late July has continued to plague him, and the Giants will give the young guard time to recover. They placed Lemieux on IR Thursday.
Inserted into the Giants’ starting lineup after Will Hernandez‘s COVID-19 contraction last year, Lemieux did not give up the job the rest of the way. After New York released Kevin Zeitler this offseason, Lemieux and Hernandez started in Week 1. Surgery may be in the cards for Lemieux, though that is not yet certain. The 2020 fifth-round pick playing again this season would be a surprise, per Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
Lemieux’s injury will force the Giants to get creative on their offensive line. They are set to start recent trade acquisition Billy Price at center and slide Nick Gates to left guard, Raanan notes. Such a promotion occurring in Week 2, which features a short week and a trip to Washington, will represent a stiff challenge for Price. The former first-round pick could not stick in the Bengals’ lineup, despite the team’s lofty investment, and was traded to the Giants for a late-round pick.
Lemieux could not make it through the first half against the Broncos, playing only 17 snaps. Ben Bredeson, the other O-line trade acquisition the Giants made ahead of the season, replaced him in the lineup. But the ex-Raven is set to return to a reserve role tonight.
Considering the issues the Giants had up front with their starting five available over the past several weeks, the team needing to make changes ahead of a Thursday road tilt is certainly bad news. The Giants are looking to avoid an 0-2 start for the first time since 2016.