Larry Donnell Injury: Updates on Giants TE's Neck and Recovery

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent III

New York Giants tight end Larry Donnell (84) motions to fans as he runs off the field after the Giants beat the San Francisco 49ers 30-27 in an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015, in East Rutherford, N.J. Donnell caught a pass in the fourth quarter for the winning touchdown. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

New York Giants tight end Larry Donnell missed eight games last season due to a neck injury, but he received good news Wednesday. 

Continue for updates.

Donnell Fully Cleared from from Neck Injury

Wednesday, March 9

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported the news on Donnell, citing the 27-year-old's agent, Tamika Cheatham, as the source of the information.

Donnell had a breakout 2014 campaign with 63 receptions and six touchdowns, but he couldn't build on it last season after he went down in an effort to make a diving catch against the New Orleans Saints in Week 8.

"It's going to be a while before I’m able to play," said Donnell in late November, per the New York Post's Zach Braziller. "It's not an arm, it's not a foot, it's my neck. So I'm going to take all the time that is needed to make sure it's right before I go back out there."

Taking his time to recover was wise for Donnell, who didn't require surgery and figures to be a large part of the Giants' plans for the 2016 season.

He was a restricted free agent this offseason, but the Giants reportedly tendered a non-guaranteed, one-year contract worth $1.671 million. The prove-it deal should provide Donnell with a healthy chip on his shoulder as he tries to re-establish himself as a favorite target of New York quarterback Eli Manning.

The only consistent threat Manning has to throw to is superstar receiver Odell Beckham Jr. With Rueben Randle hitting free agency and a dearth of other pass-catchers on the roster, Donnell must step up and return to his 2014 form if the G-Men are meant to live up to their potential on offense.

A healthy Victor Cruz would make quite a difference, but Donnell seems like the safer bet to count on after Cruz was out for all of last season and 10 games in 2014.