For New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, it will be odd not receiving snaps from former teammate and current Washington Commanders center Nick Gates as the two are set to face off against each other in their Week 7 matchup this Sunday.
Jones and Gates Made it Work on the Field for the Giants
Dan Benton of Giants Wire relayed Jones’ sentiments on playing against the offensive lineman he came into the NFL with:
“I’ve a lot of respect for Gates, obviously a close friend and close teammate that I played a lot with, and I think a lot of,” Jones told reporters on Wednesday. “Weird seeing him on the other side, but pulling for him — not this week, but I’ve got a lot of respect and appreciation for him.”
In four seasons, Jones and Gates were instrumental in the Giants returning to playoff relevancy. Gates saw time at several different slots on the offensive line. He played and started all 16 games in 2020 at center and was only responsible for one false start penalty on the year.
In 2022, Gates played mainly at left guard and center. He only allowed one sack on Jones on the year. Gates received a 69.3 pass-blocking grade from Pro Football Focus as his play helped New York reach the postseason.
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Jones and Gates Won’t Let Friendship Get in the Way of Competition
Jones and Gates were able to connect on the field. Moreover, their relationship away from the Gridiron was attested to by both players, with Gates labeling his former QB as his ‘good friend.”
Friends must put their relationships to the side when in the heat of battle and that’s what it will take for Jones to help the 1-5 Giants close the gap on the 3-3 Commanders in the NFC East.
A win for New York will put them within one game of third place in the division and keep them from sinking in the NFC as a whole. Gates has already allowed double the amount of sacks in six starts with the Commanders than he did in all four seasons with the Giants combined. Therefore Jones can hope in the back of his mind that his former teammate continues the trend and gives him more time of possession to turn the Giants offense around.