There is a tiny corner of Joe Judge’s mind where he worries that Giants offensive lineman Nick Gates’ career might be over.
Gates remains hospitalized in Virginia after undergoing surgery on the broken leg he suffered in last Thursday’s game. Is there concern if could be career-ending, like the one Joe Theismann suffered in a Giants-Washington game in 1985?
“I’d be lying, from my perspective, if I said no,” Judge said. “I know there are some comparisons, but they are all different. I know he is receiving the best medical care possible, here, elsewhere, wherever it may be, so we’re confident he’ll be able to come back.”
Gates remains upbeat and surrounded by family, according to those familiar with his thinking.
“My perspective is get them back healthy, keep them focused on being a player when they come back and in the meantime do everything you can to help them stay involved in the team but also prepare something beyond this,” Judge said.
“I’ve had guys in the past with traumatic injuries where we look down the road and some get involved in coaching, some get involved in the weight room. You start thinking like a coach to ease that transition over time. Hopefully Nick is about a decade away from that.”
Judge also said not to rule out guard Shane Lemieux, who is on injured reserve after undergoing knee surgery on a partially torn patella, for the season just yet. A team statement Wednesday ruled out Lemieux for the regular season, but the playoffs begin in 16 weeks.