Nick Gates

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/23/22

Tuesday marked the day teams were forced to cut down from 85 to 80 players. Here are the moves teams made made to reach the new maximum. Players who land on the reserve/PUP or reserve/NFI list must miss at least the first four regular-season games.

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

Injury Updates: Packers, Seahawks, Jaguars, Colts, Giants

Packers second-round wide receiver Christian Watson was placed on the PUP before training camp opened, and ESPN’s Rob Demovsky writes that the rookie could miss a chunk of training camp. Watson continues to recover from minor knee surgery that took place following minicamp.

“I think there was kind of a thought process [of] do you want to try to push through the season and finish this after the (2022) season or should we just go ahead and do it now?” said Packers GM Brian Gutekunst said. “And we just did it now. So he’ll miss a little bit of time in camp, but it’s nothing long term.

“When we invest what we invested in Christian, we’re obviously looking out for the long term. We always do. He’s a young player who’s got a big career ahead of him, so we want to make sure we protect that. It’ll be how he responds through the rehab. As soon as he’s ready, we’ll get him out there.”

The Packers used the No. 34 pick on the rookie wideout. This naturally led to high expectations for the wideout, especially with Davante Adams out of the picture. The rookie has had only three opportunities to practice with Aaron Rodgers, and the wideout will miss out on chances to click with his QB during the early parts of training camp.

More injury notes from around the NFL…

  • Seahawks safety Jamal Adams underwent left shoulder surgery for the second-straight year, but he also underwent multiple finger surgeries during the offseason. Adams will be sidelined for “some time” while he gets his previously-injured hand checked out, coach Pete Carroll told ESPN’s Brady Henderson (Twitter link). “Yesterday his hand just wasn’t right, so he’s getting some opinions about it,” the coach said.
  • Jaguars running back James Robinson didn’t start training camp on PUP, but he won’t be a full participant right away, tweets ESPN’s Michael DiRocco (on Twitter). The hope is that Robinson will be fully cleared to participate in games by mid-August, meaning he could be active for the start of the regular season. Robinson tore his Achilles in Week 16 of the 2021 campaign, putting his early-season availability in doubt. Meanwhile, DiRocco notes that linebacker Devin Lloyd tweaked his hamstring during a conditioning test and will be sidelined for a few days.
  • Colts All-Pro linebacker Shaquille Leonard (previously Darius Leonard) was placed on PUP following offseason back surgery. The intent of the procedure was to relieve pressure on nerves in his back, and there was hope the surgery would also improve “functionality issues” in his left leg. Fortunately, Leonard said he immediately noticed a positive difference following the operation, and he said he’s focused on his rehab as training camp starts. “I’m not putting a timetable on it, but when I’m ready, you’ll see me on the field after that,” Leonard said (via Joel A. Erickson of the Indianapolis Star). “I’m ready to continue with my rehab, I’m happy with where I’m at right now, and hopefully we’ll continue to go forward with this process.”
  • Giants wideout Sterling Shepard was placed on PUP as he continues to recover from a torn Achilles. According to Dan Duggan of The Athletic, the goal is for Shepard to be ready for the start of the regular season, but it’s still unclear if the receiver will be ready by then. Offensive lineman Nick Gates is also on PUP as he recovers from a lower-leg fracture suffered last September. Duggan passes along that coach Brian Daboll was “surprisingly optimistic” about the status of the OL, revealing that there’s no guarantee that Gates will be forced to miss any time.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/26/22

Today’s minor NFL transactions, including a handful of notable names landing on the physically unable to perform list and the non-football injury list as teams open up camp:

Arizona Cardinals

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

  • Released with NFI designation: WR Cody Core

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Commanders

NFC East Notes: Cowboys, Commanders, Staff, Toney, Giants, Eagles

The Cowboys and Commanders each ran afoul of NFL offseason rules during their OTA workouts this year. As a result, each team will lose 2023 practice time and each squad’s head coach received a six-figure fine. Both Mike McCarthy and Ron Rivera received $100K fines for workouts deemed over the line, the Dallas Morning News’ Calvin Watkins and ESPN.com’s Dan Graziano note (Twitter link). Washington will be short two OTA days in 2023 due to excessive contact. This marks the second consecutive year McCarthy received a fine for offseason overwork. He received a $50K fine last year, with the Cowboys being docked $100K and a 2022 OTA for 2021 violations. The Cowboys will be docked one OTA day in 2023. OTAs do not hold the role they once did, and teams have begun to limit offseason activities on their own. The Eagles will go into training camp after not holding a mandatory minicamp. But Dallas and Washington will need to make minor adjustments to their 2023 offseason schedules.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • Injuries wrecked the Giants‘ offense last season, sidelining starters at just about every position. Some new issues cropped up this offseason. Neither Kenny Golladay nor Kadarius Toney participated fully at any point during Big Blue’s offseason program, per NJ.com’s Zack Rosenblatt, who adds Toney is dealing with a new knee injury (Golladay’s issue is unknown). Toney injuries have become a recurring problem for the Giants. Ankle, oblique and quadriceps issues limited Toney to 10 games last season, one that began after he missed most of training camp due to a hamstring problem. This year’s camp becomes more important for the 2021 first-rounder as a result of last year’s run of setbacks.
  • Toney still projects as part of Brian Daboll‘s first 53-man roster; Darius Slayton might not. The Dave Gettleman-era investment has been mentioned in trade rumors, and The Athletic’s Dan Duggan views the former fifth-round pick as unlikely to be part of this year’s Giants edition (subscription required). The Giants are likely to continue shopping Slayton up until cut day, Duggan adds, as he would be their No. 5 receiver if everyone is healthy. Almost no one in the team’s top four (Golladay, Toney, Sterling Shepard, Wan’Dale Robinson) being healthy could point to Slayton staying. Shepard is still recovering from the Achilles tear he suffered last season. A two-time 700-yard receiver, Slayton is due a $2.54MM salary in 2022.
  • Both Shane Lemieux and Nick Gates were lost for the season early in the Giants’ miserable 2021 slate. While Lemieux is favored to start at left guard this season, Rosenblatt notes Gates might not return to action at all this season. This is not an out-of-the-blue development. Then-HC Joe Judge said Gates’ leg fracture sustained in Week 2 of last season could be career-threatening. That said, a report earlier this year gave Gates better odds at returning. The Giants gave Gates — a 16-game center starter in 2020 — a two-year, $6.82MM extension two years ago. But offseason addition Jon Feliciano is ticketed to take over at center.
  • The Eagles lost nearly all of their high-ranking front office staffers this offseason, seeing four of them leave for assistant GM gigs elsewhere. One of those, Andy Weidl, is now Omar Khan‘s right-hand man in Pittsburgh. Weidl worked with the Eagles for more than six years, and although he took over the team’s VP of player personnel post after Joe Douglas became the Jets’ GM in 2019, Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer notes Howie Roseman did not give Weidl as much input as Douglas had. This became an understandable source of friction for Weidl. The Eagles went in a different direction with their new Roseman right-hand men, promoting staffers without traditional scouting backgrounds (Jon Ferrari and Alec Hallaby) to assistant GM posts.

Giants Have Done “A Ton Of Work” On OT Charles Cross

The Giants, who hold the No. 5 and No. 7 overall selections in this month’s draft, are well-positioned to address two of their biggest needs — offensive tackle and edge rusher — with a top collegiate prospect. Per Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post, Big Blue has done “a ton of work” on Mississippi State tackle Charles Cross, one of the top OTs in the class.

Cross is not considered to be on the same level as Alabama tackle Evan Neal or NC State blocker Ikem Ekwonu in terms of overall talent, but one scouting source told Dunleavy that Neal and Cross are the best pure left tackles in the class. While all three prospects project well at right tackle, Ekwonu is better-suited to the right side, and he also has the ceiling of an elite guard.

There is a chance that Neal and Ekwonu, or at least one of the pair, will be available for the Giants when they are on the clock with the No. 5 pick. In that scenario, New York could take the highest-rated OL on its board, or it could simply opt to fill a different need, secure in the knowledge that one of those two players and/or Cross will still be there for the taking at No. 7 (assuming, of course, that a club with a Top-4 selection does not nab Cross). But if the first four picks skew towards O-linemen rather than, say, pass rushers, then new GM Joe Schoen may need to pounce on a protector for QB Daniel Jones.

If he ends up with Cross, an accomplished pass blocker who would complete a strong bookend with 2020 first-rounder Andrew Thomas, Schoen should be happy, regardless of which pick he uses. In 719 pass-blocking snaps in 2021, Cross allowed just 16 pressures.

Schoen recently passed along several injury updates on two starting-caliber players already on the roster. LB Blake Martinez (ACL) and WR Sterling Shepard (Achilles), both of whom recently accepted pay cuts, will hopefully be back in action by August, per Schoen (Twitter link via Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com). OL Nick Gates, who started all 16 games for the Giants in 2020 but who suffered a career-threatening leg fracture in Week 2 of the 2021 season, may be ready for training camp, as Raanan tweets.

Latest On Giants OL Nick Gates

Nick Gates‘ injury last Thursday will end up having a significant impact on the lineman’s career. Giants head coach Joe Judgecouldn’t completely rule out” that Gates’ injury will end up ending his career (per ESPN’s Jordan Raanan on Twitter). However, the coach “seemed hopeful” that the lineman will be able to see the field again.

“I’d be lying, if from my perspective, if I said no,” Judge replied when asked if the injury was a career-ender (via Raanan). “I know that there are some comparisons to other players. These things are all different. I know he’s going to have the best medical care possible, here or elsewhere whatever we can do. So we are confident he’s going to be able to come back.”

Gates remains in a hospital in Virginia and is set to undergo further testing. The team captain posted an Instagram video that showed him walking, and Raanan writes that he “remains in good spirits despite the severity of the injury.”

The injury occurred in the first quarter of last Thursday’s loss to Washington. The lineman got tangled up with WFT defensive tackle Jonathan Allen, and it looked like teammate Daron Payne accidentally rolled over his ankle. Gates’ leg was placed in an air cast before he was carted off the field. The broadcast refused to show a replay considering the gruesome nature of the injury.

Gates was an undrafted free agent in 2018, but he’s transformed into one of the Giants’ most reliable offensive lineman. The 25-year-old started all 16 games for New York in 2020, and he was named a team captain prior to the 2021 campaign. He appeared in all 61 of the Giants’ offensive snaps during their Week 1 loss.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/21/21

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Cleveland Browns

Houston Texans

Las Vegas Raiders

  • Signed: T Jackson Barton (off Giants’ practice squad)

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Giants OL Nick Gates Suffers Lower Leg Fracture

Giants offensive lineman Nick Gates left tonight’s game following a brutal leg injury. According to the team, Gates suffered a lower leg fracture (via NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on Twitter).

The injury occurred in the first quarter. Gates was tossed to the ground, and teammate Daron Payne accidentally rolled over the lineman’s ankle. Gates’ leg was placed in an air cast before he was carted off the field. The broadcast refused to show a replay considering the gruesome nature of the injury.

Gates was an undrafted free agent in 2018, but he’s transformed into one of the Giants’ most reliable offensive lineman. The 25-year-old started all 16 games for New York in 2020, and he was named a team captain prior to the 2021 campaign. He appeared in all 61 of the Giants’ offensive snaps during their Week 1 loss.

After playing center in 2020, the Giants shifted Gates to left guard this week following an injury to Shane Lemieux. This allowed recent acquisition Billy Price to slide into the center spot. Ben Bredeson replaced Gates following the injury, per Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com.

Giants Place G Shane Lemieux On IR

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).

[RELATED: Giants Promote Matt Skura]

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.

Giants, Nick Gates Agree To Extension

The Giants have agreed to a two-year extension with offensive lineman Nick Gates, as Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. The new deal carries a base value of $6.825MM with the potential to reach $10.325MM via incentives and bonuses.

It’s a nice pay bump for the former undrafted free agent, especially considering that he spent his would-be 2018 rookie season on IR. Last year, Gates turned in a perfect attendance card including three starts.

This year, Gates figures to reprise his role as a backup tackle. The Giants will be counting on him a little bit more than anticipated – starting tackle Nate Solder has exercised his right to opt out of the 2020 season, leaving the Giants with first-round pick Andrew Thomas and third-rounder Matt Peart as their projected starting tackles.

At Nebraska, Gates made 25 consecutive starts at left tackle. With the Giants, he’s moved between right guard and right tackle, and he’ll likely bounce between the interior and exterior line once again this year. The Giants have retooled their offensive line, but they see Gates as a keeper and, potentially, a future cog.