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Could New York Giants' Larry Donnell face retirement due to neck injury?

Report speculates on the possibility.

Larry Donnell has yet to be cleared following a 2015 neck injury
Larry Donnell has yet to be cleared following a 2015 neck injury
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Could the NFL career of New York Giants' tight end Larry Donnell be over? The New York Post reported on Friday that Donnell might be forced to retire by the neck injury that caused him to miss the final eight games of the 2015 season.

General manager Jerry Reese said on Thursday that Donnell, who had 63 catches for the Giants in 2014, has yet to cleared by doctors to return to football activities.

"We're expecting him to be back but necks can be tricky. We'll have to wait and see where that goes," Reese said. "I respect what our doctors say about the neck and we'll take extreme precaution with that. Hopefully he can get healthy and come back and continue his career."

In recent years, the Giants have seen running back David Wilson and middle linebacker Antonio Pierce forced to retire due to neck injuries. To be honest, I'm not sure if the Post story from Paul Schwartz was speculative based on the remarks from Reese, or if there is more information behind it.

Either way, the fact that Donnell, 27, has yet to be cleared is a big concern.

Will Tye, signed as an undrafted free agent, stepped forward in Donnell's absence, caught 42 passes, and looks like he could be the tight end of the future. Still, the 6-foot-5, 270-pound Donnell could be a valuable pass-catching option, particularly in the red zone.

The remaining tight ends on the roster are also undrafted free agents. Matt LaCosse had three receptions in two games and could be the best blocking tight end on the current roster. Jerome Cunningham caught eight passes in nine games.