Golden Tate was scheduled to speak to the media on Thursday afternoon for the first time since last week’s benching for disciplinary reasons.
When it was Tate’s time to speak, Evan Engram sat down in front of the Zoom camera instead.
The Giants said Tate hurt his knee late in Thursday’s practice at MetLife Stadium and was being further evaluated, so he was unavailable — though early indications were that Tate’s injury was not serious.
Tate actually ran some routes with Daniel Jones and the first-team skill position players on Thursday on the stadium turf during the open portion of practice.
That was an enormous change from last week, which Tate spent in Joe Judge’s doghouse. Tate and his wife had loudly and publicly demanded the ball and better stats during and after a Nov. 2 loss to the Bucs.
Judge kept Tate away from last Wednesday’s practice altogether and had him in a scout team pinnie posing as Washington receiver Terry McLaurin on Thursday and Friday. Judge then left Tate off the Giants' trip to Washington entirely, scratching him and leaving him at home.
Judge had said on Monday that he anticipated Tate would be active on Sunday against the visiting Philadelphia Eagles.
“I have no reason to believe he wouldn’t be active at this point,” Judge said Monday. “But we’re going to go through this week and kind of see how everything goes with everybody on the team and see where everything lays out.”
Now Thursday’s late week injury — combined with the drama that’s followed Tate around lately — makes it likely he could miss a second straight game heading into the Giants' Week 11 bye.
If the injury is bad, Tate may have played his final game as a Giant, since it is impossible to see him on Judge’s roster next season.
GET YOUR KICKS
Giants kicker Graham Gano was named the NFL’s special teams player of the week for Week 9 after going 3-for-3 on field goals from 38, 48 and 42 yards in a three-point win at Washington.
Gano’s quiet off-field life and consistent on-field production are a welcome change from predecessors Aldrick Rosas and Josh Brown.
Gano is 32-of-33 this season on kicks (19/20 on field goals, 13/13 on extra points). His only miss was a costly but distant 57-yarder in Chicago in Week 2, but he had made 18 consecutive field goals since that miss.
This is a huge career bounce back after Gano missed all of 2019 following knee surgery.
PETTIS WEARING OBJ’S NUMBER
New Giants receiver Dante Pettis is wearing jersey No. 13. He is now the fourth player to wear 13 since Odell Beckham Jr.'s spring 2019 trade to the Cleveland Browns. The others were practice squad rookie receiver Reggie White Jr. last year, and backup quarterbacks Cooper Rush and Clayton Thorson this year. Thorson, a practice squad QB, gave Pettis No. 13 and now is wearing No. 3. Beckham is one of the best singular talents in team history.
GIANTS INJURY REPORT
RB Devonta Freeman (ankle), WR Sterling Shepard (toe/hip) and Tate (knee) were limited Thursday. Freeman left Thursday’s practice early with a trainer. If he can’t play, the team would have to clear a spot for Alfred Morris on the active roster. Morris has been called up to play the maximum two weeks in a row from the practice squad, so he’d have to be signed ot play.
Tight end Kaden Smith (concussion) was upgraded to full participation, meanwhile, and safety Logan Ryan and D-lineman Leonard Williams were back at practice after excused Thursday absences.