Giants TE Larry Donnell missed the final eight games last season dealing with a neck issue. He insisted he felt no pain, but his MRI exam did not come back clean. He did not miss a game his first two years, breaking through with a 63-reception season in 2014. Undrafted out of Grambling State, Donnell has experienced problems with ball security, but he is a huge target at 6-foot-6 and has eight touchdown catches in his last 24 games.
On Thursday, general manager Jerry Reese said, ominously, Donnell has not yet received medical clearance to return to football activities.
“Hopefully he’ll be able to continue to play,’’ Reese said. “We’re expecting him to be back, but necks can be tricky. We’ll have to wait and see where that goes.
Tye essentially took over as the Giants’ starter in Week 8, and was the #13 tight end from that point on. From Week 9 to Week 17, he had the 10th-most targets at his position. If Larry Donnell’s neck injury sidelines him in 2016, and the Giants don’t add a good tight end in free agency or the draft, then Tye will be a good late-round target for owners looking for value at the position. (Tye is an exclusive rights free agent, so the Giants still need to re-sign him.)