EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants offensive lineman Nick Gates is set to undergo surgery on Friday morning after suffering a gruesome left leg injury in the first quarter of Thursday night's 30-29 loss to the Washington Football Team.
Gates, a team captain who was starting his first game since 2019 at left guard, was ruled out with what the team called a lower leg fracture. The injury was so bad the NFL Network broadcast elected not to show a replay of it.
"I snapped that s--- in half," Gates told his agent Jon Perzley.
The injury came when Gates got tangled with Washington defensive tackle Jonathan Allen with 5:57 remaining in the first quarter. He was writhing in pain and tossed his helmet as medical personnel rushed onto the field. Coach Joe Judge was comforting Gates in the middle of the field while they attended to his leg.
Judge called losing Gates a "gut punch" to his team.
Gates' leg was placed in an air cast, and he was taken off the field on a cart. He waved to the crowd as he was taken to the locker room after the entire Giants team and part of the Washington sideline came over to wish him well. Gates was then transported to a local hospital where he remained overnight.
"Nick's a fighter man," running back Saquon Barkley said. "Nick is a leader. He's a captain for a reason. But seeing him down, you see the impact it had on the team."
The Giants switched Gates to left guard for Thursday's game after starting left guard Shane Lemieux was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury. Gates started all 16 games at center last season and Week 1 against the Denver Broncos.
"Look, I can't say enough about Nick in terms of what he does for the team. How he works. The energy, spirit and competitiveness he brings on a daily basis," Judge said. "He's an all-in team guy. He's a very selfless player. He's been a great leader for this team.
"Went out there. Didn't once blink. Whatever is best for the team, coach, that is what I'm going to do. Went out there. Played. Had an unfortunate injury."