The New York Giants did a tremendous job rebuilding their offensive line with the available assets Dave Gettleman left behind, but there is still a lot left to do before the unit is considered average. With a rookie at right tackle and new players across the board aside from left tackle, this training camp will be essential for developing chemistry.
One of the Giants’ newest players, Jon Feliciano, is expected to lock down the center spot. Feliciano has only 323 career snaps at center, but new management is confident he can perform at an adequate level. The former Buffalo Bills reserves lineman is on a one-year contract, but he could earn a long-term extension if he plays above expectations.
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The New York Giants could get Nick Gates back this season:
However, there is an inkling of hope that Nick Gates can make a return during the 2022 season after suffering a gruesome injury against the Washington Commanders last season. Gates was cemented as the team’s starting center when he was knocked out in Week 2, forcing the team to acquire Billy Price from the Cincinnati Bengals in exchange for BJ Hill.
There was a legitimate fear that Gates would never play football again, and that is still a concern moving forward.
However, Gates has been ramping up his recovery process lately, strengthening his leg and preparing for a potential return in the coming months.
“I do understand he’s actually been ramping it up lately,” Raanan said on the Breaking Big Blue podcast. “He did some running, his leg is finally getting some strength back. So, he’s getting closer or he is on track now to get back this summer. But that’s not going to be anytime early in camp, it doesn’t appear.”
Despite Gates being a very confident individual, he still approaches his rehabilitation with a realistic perspective. He doesn’t want to get his hopes up, but he understands that even a full recovery may not allow him to play football again.
“I don’t even know,” Gates told The Athletic recently regarding a return timetable. “It’s so hard to tell. It’s slow. I don’t know if I’ll definitely be able to play again, but that’s my goal. I want to.”
Prior to going down in 2021, Gates had put together a solid 2020 campaign at center. He didn’t allow a single sack and gave up just 16 pressures but did get hit with eight penalties. This was the first time in his career he had played center, showcasing incredibly advanced qualities given his lack of experience.
The Giants sorely missed him throughout the 2022 season, and with a one-year rental in Feliciano, the door is open for Nick to reclaim his former job.