Golden Tate may have a new obstacle that prevents him from playing on Sunday, and it has nothing to do with Joe Judge’s wrath.
The wide receiver injured his knee late in practice on Thursday at MetLife Stadium and was listed as limited on the team’s injury report. He spent the period after the workout being evaluated by team trainers. While early indications suggested it was not a serious injury and he simply banged the knee during a drill, Tate was scheduled to undergo an MRI and other tests as precautions.
Given how close it occurred to the game – and the promising performance of rookie Austin Mack in last week’s game when Tate was benched – it will at the very least bear monitoring.
The injury comes during a week when Tate returned to his former role in the offense after spending last week demoted to the scout team and was then left home for the trip to Washington. That was Judge’s discipline for Tate, who had complained about not receiving enough targets during the game against Tampa Bay. Tate was scheduled to address the media about that situation for the first time after Thursday’s practice, a session that was postponed by the injury.
Thursday was Tate’s first full practice back in his role with the offense, a position he was in for Wednesday’s walk-through as well.
"I love the way he came to practice [Wednesday], I love the way he’s preparing so far today," Judge said on Thursday before Tate’s injury. "Look, we’re totally past the whole situation last week. It is what it is. I look forward to getting Golden on the field with us. We’ll roll him in fast."
Notes & quotes: Will Hernandez played every snap at left guard since he was drafted by the Giants until a positive COVID-19 test knocked him from the lineup two weeks ago. Now that he is back, he may have to learn a new position. As part of the Giants’ dedication to rotating offensive linemen, Judge said his guards will have to start working on both sides of the center. "That may be new for a couple guys, Shane [Lemieux], Will [Hernandez], guys who haven’t typically played on the right at different times," Judge said. That also indicates veteran right guard Kevin Zeitler could be given breathers during the upcoming game. "We’re not looking to play musical chairs just to confuse everybody," Judge said. "We’re just looking to make sure we keep building our team’s depth and get everyone an opportunity to get on the field and contribute" … Special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey said the Giants were "still going through an evaluation process" with Dante Pettis, the receiver and returner they claimed off waivers from the 49ers last week. Pettis’ nine touchdowns off punts in college make him an intriguing addition to the Giants’ return game. "We want to let him get his feet wet first," McGaughey said. "Just trying to get him his bearings. From the Bay to Jersey is a little bit different. Dante is working hard. We’ll figure that out once we get to the back end of the week" … RB Devonta Freeman (ankle) was limited in practice after missing the past two games. TE Kaden Smith (concussion) was a full participant.