New York Giants: OL Nick Gates could return sooner than anticipated

Alexander Wilson
New York Giants, Nick Gates
New York Giants guard Nick Gates (65) celebrates the Giants’ first win of the season over the Washington Football Team, 20-19, at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in East Rutherford. Nyg Vs Was

The rehabilitation of New York Giants offensive lineman Nick Gates couldn’t be going better. Gates suffered a fractured leg in Week 2 against the Washington Commanders in 2021, forcing him to miss the rest of the season and nearly ended his career.

There was even a slight moment when Gates believed he could lose his leg, but he’s begun ramping up his strength training and building muscle, making it a possibility he returns during the 2022 season.

The New York Giants have done right by Nick Gates:

New management owes no loyalty to Gates, but they respect him as a human and have shown him nothing but consideration during his process. Even if he never plays football again, the Giants wanted to do right by one of their more fearless players that sets the tone on the offensive side.

That loyalty could end up as a reward. General manager Joe Schoen indicated that Gates could make a return during the preseason this year.

“When I got here, I was just worried about his quality of life,” general manager Joe Schoen said. “The fact that he is where he is and may be able to play in the preseason is amazing. Credit to the kid. He’s been working his butt off.”

Gates has spent three seasons with the Giants as an undrafted free agent out of Nebraska. The 26-year-old had a stout 2020 campaign, playing 1,014 snaps at center. He didn’t give up a single sack all year, allowing just 16 pressures.

He has been one of the team’s bright spots on offense, but there’s no guarantee he’ll ever return to the same quality of play.

“This guy has been rehabbing unbelievable,” head coach Brian Daboll said. “He’s made a lot of strides.”

Since the injury, Gates has shown nothing but toughness and eagerness to return to the football field. He is a walking motivator, showing the healthy players on the roster what hard work looks like.

A return from a completely broken leg in less than a year would be nothing short of a miracle, but Gates put in the work to increase the speed of his rehabilitation.