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Things are taking a very dark turn for Nick Gates and the New York Giants. The veteran lineman was knocked out of the Week 2 contest against the Washington Football Team with a fractured leg, going down on the first play of the Giants second possession of the game -- put in an air cast and immediately carted off of the field. Gates was moved to season-ending injured reserve in short order, but the concern on his future availability now goes beyond the remainder of 2021. 

According to head coach Joe Judge, the 25-year-old remains in the hospital at this time, and the Giants can't rule out the possibility of it being a career-ending injury.

"I'd be lying if I said no," Judge said, via Ralph Vacchiano of

There is a least a bit of confidence Gates will dodge such a terrible outcome, thought.

"We're confident he'll be able to come back," added Judge, before circling back to concern. "But yes, it could be career-ending."

Gates started the season at center for the Giants before being moved to left guard, and his absence will create the need for a long-term shuffle across the offensive line in front of quarterback Daniel Jones -- who has already been sacked six times over the first two games of 2021. Gates, an undrafted free agent signing of the Giants in 2018, started in only three games as in Year 2 before being awarded the role full-time last season, going on to start in all 16 regular season games. 

He spent the entirety of his rookie season on injured reserve and will now spend the remainder of his fourth year there as well, now fighting to return for a fifth NFL season and beyond.