The Giants‘ initial concerns have now become a reality, as they have likely lost starting left guard Shane Lemieux for the rest of the season.
Lemieux, who was dealing with a partial tear of the patellar tendon in his left knee, underwent surgery to repair this issue on Wednesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery, the team announced this evening.
The second-year lineman suffered this injury in August, but the hope was that he would be able to play through it this season without undergoing surgery. However, Lemieux lasted just one half of football for the Giants in Week 1, before being removed from the game.
The Giants then placed Lemieux on injured reserve last Thursday ahead of their Week 2 matchup with the Washington Football Team. Now, he has undergone surgery that is expected to keep him on the shelf for the rest of the season.
New York selected Lemieux in the fifth-round of the 2020 draft last year. During his rookie season, he received a bulk of the playing time at guard in the second half of the season.
And based off his performance during this span, the Giants felt comfortable enough to pencil him in as a starter, after releasing veteran Kevin Zeitler as a cap casualty during the offseason.
Unfortunately, this decision has ultimately backfired earlier than anticipated, and now the Giants will be relying on lesser options to fill the void left by Lemieux.
Speaking of this void, in Lemieux’s absence, Ben Bredeson is expected to take his spot at left guard for the time being.
But if Bredeson can’t hold it down, the Giants have backup center/guard Matt Skura waiting in the wings, who has vast experience as a starter.
Skura spent the last four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, starting at both center and guard.
However, the Giants also lost Nick Gates, who fractured his leg against Washington, and underwent surgery on Friday morning.
With Gates and Lemieux out, Bredeson (left guard) and Billy Price (center), two players who the Giants acquired via trade at the end of training camp to serve as depth pieces, now will be starting on their offensive line moving forward.
As previously mentioned, the Giants’ offensive line has seen a major re-shuffle through the first three weeks of the season. At the start of training camp, this unit was projected to feature the following: Andrew Thomas, Shane Lemieux, Nick Gates, Will Hernandez and Matt Peart.
But Gates and Lemieux went down with serious injuries, and Peart got beat out by veteran Nate Solder, who is now the Giants’ starting right tackle.
The Giants were expecting a big jump from Peart in year-two after they drafted him in the third-round of the 2020 draft. And despite showing promise in his rookie season, Peart had a disappointing summer, which lost him his job.
Now, the Giants are working him in at guard, given the injuries they’ve suffered. And the hope is, that Peart can adapt to this new role and settle in as a capable starter on the interior.
Regardless, Peart’s development has taken a major step back in the early part of his sophomore season. And the Giants’ latest attempt to re-build their offense line is looking quite disastrous at this point.