Nick Gates was added to the New York Giants’ 53-man roster on Wednesday, 405 days after a gruesome left leg injury that many thought would end his career.
Gates fractured the tibia and fibula in that leg and required seven surgeries.
Gates has been practicing with the team for the past three weeks, with Wednesday being the final day the Giants had to make a decision on whether or not to activate him.
The Giants officially announced the move on Wednesday afternoon.
Here is head coach Brian Daboll on Gates’ comeback:
“It’s impressive. I mean, so many surgeries and so much rehab. You saw him when I first got here. Just a testament to the young man. It takes a lot of perseverance to go through what he’s been through and to be out here. Impressive young man.”
Daboll isn’t the only coach who has been impressed.
“Got a lot of respect for Nick, what he’s gone through,” offensive line coach Bobby Johnson said recently. “A lot of guys would n’t of made it through, but he he has.
“It’s been neat to see the respect that his teammates have for him.”
The Giants have an open roster spot, so no corresponding move will need to be made to clear space for Gates.
Gates admitted when he started practicing a few weeks ago that there had been times he had wondered if the work required to return was worthwhile.
“Those thoughts – I feel like any injury you have, it doesn’t matter if it’s this or something else – those thoughts are just natural. I talked to [Director of Wellness and Clinical Services, Player Engagement] Dr. lani [Lawrence], our sports psychologist a little bit and she was like, ‘Yeah, that’s normal. That’s part of an injury and part of the process of healing and moving forward,’” Gates said.
“I just wanted to play football again to be honest with you. Just being out there is fun.”
With the injury Sunday to Ben Bredeson, Gates figures to initially be a backup to Josh Ezeudu and Mark Glowinski at guard and to Jon Feliciano at center.
Daboll said Monday there is no pre-determined role for Gates.
“We’ll put him out there. 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,” Daboll said. “He can play all spots, but we’ve really worked him more at center and guard getting back here. I know he played tackle.”
More injury updates
The Giants announced that three players who have not practiced this season are returning to practice. Offensive tackle Matt Peart, on PUP due to last season’s torn ACL, is one. The others are edge defender Elerson Smith (foot/ankle) and cornerback Rodarius Williams (knee). Smith and Williams are on injured reserves.
The Giants will now have 21 days to decide whether or not to activate those players.
Wednesday injury report
Did not practice
TE Daniel Bellinger (Eye)
G Ben Bredeson (Knee)
CB Cor’Dale Flott (Calf)
WR Kenny Golladay (Knee)
T Evan Neal (Knee)
WR Kadarius Toney (Hamstring)
LB Oshane Ximines (Quad)
T Tire Phillips (Toe)
S Jason Pinnock (Foot)
DL Leonard Williams (Elbow)