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Giants’ OT Evan Neal might need offseason ankle surgery

Second-year player could go under the knife

Carolina Panthers v New York Giants Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Evan Neal’s miserable second NFL season officially ended last week when the New York Giants placed the struggling right tackle on injured reserve.

Giants head coach Brian Daboll revealed on Tuesday that Neal, who played in only seven games this season due to a pair of ankle injuries, might need offseason surgery.

“Evan’s done everything he could possibly do but couldn’t make it here so there’ll be stuff down the road, but the young man’s done everything he could possibly do,” Daboll said. “Just didn’t work out.”

Asked if “stuff down the road” referred specifically to potential surgery, Daboll said “yeah.”

Neal, the No. 7 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, had a miserable rookie season for the Giants at right tackle. He ended up as the lowest-graded tackle among 57 qualifiers in the Pro Football Focus grading system, and his 52 pressures allowed was third-most among NFL tackles.

His second season wasn’t any better.

Among 92 qualifiers who have played at least 210 snaps, PFF ranks Neal No. 87. His overall grades, 41.8 in 2022 and 39.8 in 2023, and pass-blocking efficiency ratings (94.0 and 94.4) were almost identical.

Along the way, Neal had an outburst against fans critical of him and questioned a potential move to guard in 2024 by saying he was born as an offensive tackle.

The Giants have given up 77 sacks, 16 more than any other NFL team. Left tackle Andrew Thomas and center John Michael Schmitz are building blocks, but there are questions about every other offensive lineman on the roster.

Including Neal.