Donnell, who did not play after suffering a neck injury on Nov. 1, has the green light to play and he'll look to compete for tight end snaps this coming season with Will Tye and Jerome Cunningham. Prior to his injury, Donnell caught 29 passes for 223 yards and two TDs in eight starts for the Giants, but Tye's emergence as the 2015 season rolled along suggests that Donnell is hardly a lock to fully reclaim his previous role in the team's offense.
Larry Donnell has been fully cleared to work out from the neck injury that ended his 2015 season, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
In the midst of the NFL's free-agent frenzy, Donnell's agent revealed the news, paving the way for the tight end to prepare for next season. Only last week, the restricted free agent received a qualifying offer from the New York Giants , who will be able to match any contract he receives in the coming days or weeks. No matter where he lands, he'll be good to go once the offseason program starts in April.
Donnell's season was cut short due to an undisclosed neck injury, as he didn't make an appearance after Week 8. At that point, he had backed up a 2014 campaign in which he accrued 63 receptions (on 92 targets) for 623 yards and six touchdowns with 29 more catches for 223 yards and two scores. While his health remains in question, the Giants will have right of first refusal on Donnell, who enters free agency without receiving medical clearance to date.
Larry Donnell (neck) has yet to be medically cleared for football activities but his injury is not believed to be career threatening, Ebenezer Samuel of the New York Daily News reports. "He's coming back and hopefully he'll be able to continue to play. We're expecting him to be back, but necks can be tricky, so we'll have to wait and see where that goes. Hopefully he can get healthy and come back and continue his career," said general manager Jerry Reese at the NFL Scouting Combine on Thursday.
Donnell enjoyed a breakout season in 2014, pulling in 63 grabs for 623 yards and six touchdowns. He didn't quite reach that pace through eight games last season (29 receptions, 223 yards, two touchdowns) before he went down with a neck injury that ultimately landed him on injured reserve. He has yet to be cleared, but Reese's comments offered cautious optimism on the tight end's chances of gaining clearance some time this offseason. If Donnell's neck injury continues to keep him sidelined, however, Will Tye's role in the offense in 2016 could increase.
Larry Donnell (neck) has been placed on season-ending injured reserve, Dan Graziano of ESPN.com reports.
Donnell strongly hinted at this outcome two weeks ago when an MRI revealed that the problem with his neck is worse than initially believed. He should have time to recover before training camp, but the New York Giants will have to make do with Will Tye and Jerome Cunningham for the rest of the season. It won't be surprising if the team prioritizes the tight end position this offseason, as the lead-footed Donnell isn't much of a threat outside of the red zone, and Tye has been very inconsistent.
|P2||8/20/16||@ BUF||4:00 pm|
|P3||8/27/16||@ NYJ||7:30 pm|
|1||9/11/16||@ DAL||4:25 pm|
|4||10/3/16||@ MIN||8:30 pm|
|5||10/9/16||@ GB||8:30 pm|
|7||10/23/16||@ LAR||9:30 am|
|Bye: Week 8|
|12||11/27/16||@ CLE||1:00 pm|
|13||12/4/16||@ PIT||4:25 pm|
|16||12/22/16||@ PHI||8:25 pm|
|17||1/1/17||@ WAS||1:00 pm|
|2012||New York Giants||0||0||0||0||---||0||0||0||0||0|
|2013||New York Giants||16||1||3||31||10.3||11||0||0||0||2|
|2014||New York Giants||16||12||63||623||9.9||32||6||5||0||36|
|2015||New York Giants||8||8||29||223||7.7||22||2||2||0||13|
|2012||New York Giants||0||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2013||New York Giants||16||4||1.0||3||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2014||New York Giants||16||1||1.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2015||New York Giants||8||1||1.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2012||New York Giants||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2013||New York Giants||16||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||0|
|2014||New York Giants||16||4||4||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2015||New York Giants||8||0||0||0||1||0||0||1||0|
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