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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.