One year ago, after snapping his leg in an on-field injury against the Washington Commanders (Sept. 16, 2021), New York Giants offensive lineman Nick Gates faced the real danger of losing his leg.
After a 13-month recovery process, Gates is finally healthy enough to be bumped up to the active roster — now facing the possibility of playing reps for the G-Men on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. On Wednesday, Gates was taken off the PUP (physically unable to perform) list with all eyes set on his big debut for Big Blue.
The 26-year-old Gates endured a turbulent year full of uncertainty. He underwent seven surgeries to repair a fractured fibula and tibia in his left leg.
After dealing with an infection from a rod inserted in his leg, Gates faced the potential of having his leg amputated.
Head coach Brian Daboll spoke with the team on Wednesday and shared his optimism about Gates’ health following his unfortunate injury.
“We’ll put him out there,” Daboll shared. “I think he’s improved every day since he’s been out there. He looks ready to go. We’ll see where that takes him. Just keep competing; whenever his number’s called, be ready.”
As relayed by Fox News Digital’s Paulina Dedaj, Gates spoke on the desolate journey back to the field after suffering what many called a “career-ending” injury.
“It definitely gets a little lonely,” Gates said. “All the guys in the locker room have had my back. They tried to include me as much as they could, but it was a roller coaster of emotions, I’m not going to lie.”
Gates added, “At one point after I had my last surgery, which was No. 7, they had to take the rod out because I had an infection in my bone and put another rod in. I thought I wasn’t going to be able to play this year, at least not until midway.”
After the Giants gave up on free-agent bust Nate Solder, they rotated several options on the left side of the offensive line. Gates stepped up to provide stability during the highly vulnerable time for the offense.
Gates was a captain on the team at the time of his injury, suggesting his role in the offense was a combination of strength on the field and intangibles off the field. He’ll look to resume his role as a leader with the ascending 6-1 Giants.
Ex-Giant Rich Seubert lauded the young man for staying diligent in his return.
“It’s what we do,’’ Seubert said, regarding NFL players’ mindset on getting back to football after a devastating injury. “We get hurt but we fight our way back onto that football field and play with our teammates. That’s what Nick’s done and I’m excited for him.’’