The New York Giants already had problems in the trenches before losing starting center Nick Gates to a fractured lower leg against the Washington Football Team on Thursday evening. Gates, who was shifted over to left guard, was pushed back into quarterback Daniel Jones when a defender landed awkwardly on the back of his leg, sending him to the ground in a heap, experiencing obvious pain.
Losing Gates for the rest of the 2021 season is a massive casualty, as the OL was already thin. They’ve been actively trying to work in two players who the Giants recently traded for, Billy Price and Ben Bredeson.
Gates, who had allowed just one hurry and one pressure over 74 snaps the season, will be replaced by Price on the short-term at least. Price, who was recently acquired from the Cincinnati Bengals in exchange for B.J. Hill and a conditional draft pick, struggled in his first action with Bug Blue. He recorded an 8.7 pass-blocking grade, per PFF, allowing one sack, four hurries, and five pressures.
The Giants also have Matt Skura, who has been activated and will compete with Price for the starting job. Skura had issues last year snapping the football in Baltimore but was battling injury and was once considered to be a rising star at the position. I wouldn’t be surprised if Skura gave Price a serious run for his money, overtaking him and establishing himself as the starter moving forward. The Giants would be smart to provide both with an opportunity to showcase their qualities in live-action.
At left guard, the expectation is that Bredeson will take over full-time, despite having his fair share of struggles in pass protection through two weeks. He has a 28.6 overall pass-blocking grade, allowing five hurries and five pressures over 100 snaps. He has been far more efficient as a run blocker, but the Giants have unfortunately been unable to curate a consistent running game, aside from Daniel Jones and the read-option.
However, Bredeson has plenty of potential, and the Giants will likely exercise him at left guard with hopes he can develop as a pass blocker. Luckily, the performance of Andrew Thomas has been extremely encouraging and should help Bredeson adapt quicker. He is still learning the playbook and developing chemistry with his teammates, so there will be hiccups along the way.
There’s also the possibility the Giants trade for another player, which is where safety Jabrill Peppers and their extensive draft capital might come into play.