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

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent 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.

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