Giants head coach Joe Judge typically likes to refrain from offering too much of an opinion regarding the medical status of his injured players because, as he's pointed out before, he's not a doctor.
That said, Judge expressed some concern that the budding career of center Nick Gates, who suffered a horrific-looking broken leg against the Washington Football Team last week, might be in jeopardy.
“I’d be lying, from my perspective, if I said no,” Judge said when asked if Gates' injury was career-threatening. “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 was hospitalized after the game last Thursday and underwent surgery the next morning. Offensive line coach Rob Sale mentioned that Gates was looking at having additional procedures. Still, it wasn't immediately clear how many of the nature of what Gates, who was up and moving about after having surgery, was facing.
Several years ago, Giants offensive lineman Rich Seubert suffered an equally ugly-looking broken leg in a game against the Eagles in October 2003.
Seubert underwent multiple surgeries to repair his leg, including procedures in which screws and pins were inserted to stabilize the bones and help with the healing.
Like is now the case with Gates, there was concern that Seubert's career might be over.
But the gritty Seubert worked his way back, appearing on special teams and filling in for injured players in 2005 before eventually getting a starting job back in 2007. He helped the Giants win the first of two Super Bowl championships in the Tom Coughlin-Eli Manning era.
For Gates, whose toughness reminds one a great deal of Seubert's, it's early in the process as he goes through whatever procedures he'll need to ensure he's at least able to walk again without any intervention.
But for the time being, Judge said the team is fully behind their fallen team captain and will do whatever they can to keep him engaged while he's hospitalized.
“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 has said before that Gates would be a welcomed presence in the team's facility once he's cleared to move around more. Gates's knowledge and attitude have been warmly embraced by his teammates and coaches, who feel his presence would be a welcome addition behind the scenes.
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