Giants' Rookie Tackle Diagnosed With Knee Sprain

The New York Giants enjoyed a thrilling 23-17 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 7, but an injury to a key offensive lineman hung over the victory through Sunday afternoon. Thankfully, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported Monday morning that Evan Neal's knee injury was not as serious as initially feared. The rookie first-round pick has been diagnosed with a grade 2 MCL sprain.
Neal went down in apparent pain after 20 total snaps against the Jaguars, clutching his lower leg. He limped off the field under his own power and was escorted to the locker room. He was eventually declared out for the remainder of the game. It has yet to be determined when he'll be ready to return, but he at least avoided major injury.

Neal had yet to thrive to this point in his young career, earning a 49.7 overall grade from Pro Football Focus for his play over the first six weeks of the regular season. Still, the Giants have exceeded all expectations as a team, jumping out to a 6-1 record and leading the league in rushing with 173.4 yards per game. The Giants won't hesitate to keep Neal in the starting lineup should he be healthy enough to play. They'll hope experience will hasten his development into a potentially dominant blocker.

Neal joined the Giants as their seventh overall pick of the 2022 NFL Draft. Listed at a gargantuan 6-7, 360 pounds, Neal starred for three years with the Alabama Crimson Tide, winning a College Football Playoff Championship following the 2020 season and earning a consensus All-American in 2021.
Photo Credit: © Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports