Shane Lemieux

Giants G Shane Lemieux Out For Season

Days after losing Nick Gates for the year, the Giants have received word one of their other starting interior O-linemen is done for 2021 as well. Shane Lemieux underwent knee surgery Wednesday, and the procedure is expected to knock him out for the season.

The Giants announced the second-year blocker had left patellar tendon surgery. Patellar tendon issues represent one of the toughest injury obstacles to overcome, so this puts a stop sign on Lemieux’s early ascent as a pro.

A fifth-round pick last year, Lemieux moved into the Giants’ starting lineup midway through his rookie season. While Pro Football Focus did not view his rookie-year work positively, Lemieux was ticketed to join Will Hernandez as a starting guard this year and did suit up for Big Blue’s Week 1 game. But the knee injury Lemieux suffered early in training camp did not allow him to finish the team’s opener. The Giants then placed Lemieux on IR last week.

With Lemieux and Gates out, the Giants used recent trade acquisitions Billy Price and Ben Bredeson alongside Hernandez on the interior. The unit delivered mixed results in a Week 2 loss in Washington. The Giants are now trying third-round pick Matt Peart, who lost this year’s right tackle competition to Nate Solder, at guard, Darryl Slater of NJ.com notes. Bredeson is still set to start at left guard Sunday, however.

Given New York’s years-long troubles on its front, even when it was at full strength, the Gates and Lemieux setbacks represent a crisis point for the franchise. The Giants are 0-2 for a fifth straight season, and multiple O-linemen who were elsewhere a month ago — Price in Cincinnati, Bredeson in Baltimore — will be given emergency responsibilities.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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).

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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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Met With Austin Reiter

The Giants brought in a veteran O-lineman yesterday, signing 30-year-old blocker Joe Looney. Yesterday morning, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reported that free agent center Austin Reiter was expected to visit with Big Blue “in the coming days” (Twitter link).

However, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that Reiter has already met with the Giants, and that the Looney acquisition has closed the door on a Reiter signing, at least for the time being. Looney could supplant Nick Gates at the pivot, thereby shifting Gates to guard, or he could serve as guard depth himself. With Reiter having worked almost exclusively at center in his career, it would certainly seem that there is no room for him with the Giants at this point.

A seventh-round pick of the Washington Football Team in 2016, Reiter eventually caught on with the Chiefs and settled into a role as Patrick Mahomes‘ snapper over the past two seasons. But Kansas City let him hit the open market this offseason and then added Austin Blythe in free agency and Creed Humphrey in the draft. Reiter has recently met with the Bengals and Texans, so he could be on the verge of finding a new home even without the Giants in the picture.

In other Giants OL news, left guard Shane Lemieux recently sustained a knee injury that will sideline him for a couple of weeks. Luckily, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, the second-year pro will not require surgery and should be on track for the start of the regular season. Given that Lemieux was carted off the field when he suffered the injury, that comes as a big relief for New York.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.