New York Giants rookie tight end Daniel Bellinger is going to have to miss some time after a freak injury on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars requires him to underdog eye surgery.
Head coach Brian Daboll, fresh off his sixth win with his new team in seven games, had to talk about numerous injuries, including Bellinger and fellow rookie Evan Neal, after Sunday’s game. But in Bellinger’s case, Daboll said he’s going to need eye surgery after a Jaguars player fractured his eye socket and septum.
Bellinger made a catch and began to run after picking up a first down, but while one Jaguars defender went for his legs, the other went high and found his hand in the facemask of the tight end. Bellinger immediately clutched his eye and blood was seen on his gloves before trainers got out to him.
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The San Diego State product was rushed to a hospital to take care of the injury. Bellinger’s father, Frank, posted a still shot of the injury, and you can see the Jaguars defender’s hand goes right through the facemask.
“I couldn’t tell you 100%,” Daboll told reporters Monday about Bellinger’s vision being impaired post-surgery. “I think they’ll do the surgery, I’m optimistic. But in terms of getting into details with it, I couldn’t answer those.”
Daboll added that it’s “probably too early to say when I expect him back,” but it’s not believed to be a season-ending injury for the fourth-round pick.
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“We’ll see how this thing goes, and I’m hopeful for it, but obviously you never know when things like this happen.”
Bellinger has been a true role player in his first NFL season, with the Giants using him in blocking and passing concepts that have required him to go up and make some plays.
One came last week when Daniel Jones ran and threw the ball to Bellinger, who used all of his 6-foot-6 frame to get up and score his second career touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens. It was a crucial fourth-quarter touchdown that eventually led to a Giants upset win.
With Bellinger going to miss time, Daboll is going to lean on his other tight ends: Tanner Hudson and Chris Myarick.
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” I think anytime one of your better players gets injured you always miss him but that’s why you have players on the roster,” he said. “People are here for a reason; we’ve said this before. We have to find a way to use our pieces the best way we can. We have two tight ends; we have one on the practice squad and we’ll try to do the best job we can of utilizing their strengths.”
Bellinger was considered a bit of a developmental project by the Giants when GM Joe Schoen and his crew called his name in the fourth round in April. But he’s latched on to the offense quickly and made his impact.
Through seven games, Bellinger caught 16 passes on 18 targets for 152 yards and two touchdowns, his first score coming in MetLife Stadium against the Carolina Panthers on a 16-yard catch-and-run.
The Giants will look to push their win streak to five games on the road this week against another NFL surprise this season: The Seattle Seahawks.