The news that came Tuesday of the New York Giants placing tight end Larry Donnell on season-ending injured reserve with a neck injury was not a surprise. Donnell has missed the last four games and the injury had appeared to be trending that way for a while.
The news that the Giants placed long-snapper Zak DeOssie on injured reserve was a lot more shocking, mainly because DeOssie's been such a reliable regular that you sometimes forget he's on the team.
DeOssie appeared on the injury report Saturday with a wrist injury but managed to play Sunday's game anyway. Tuesday, though, the team announced he was done for the year and that it had signed former Patriots long-snapper Danny Aiken to replace him on the roster.
DeOssie was drafted by the Giants in fourth round of the 2007 draft and played in every game since the start of that season -- 140 in all. He was the long-snapper and a key special teams player on two Super Bowl title teams and the longest-tenured Giant outside of quarterback Eli Manning. He was one of three captains his teammates elected this year, along with Manning and linebacker Jon Beason, who is also on injured reserve.
DeOssie has been a quiet pillar, but it's fair to wonder whether the snap for Josh Brown's game-ending overtime missed field goal Sunday against the Jets was his last as a Giant. He will turn 32 years old in May and is eligible for free agency. There's been no reason to think the Giants had any plans to move on at that spot, but you do wonder whether the injury will affect the decision.
As for Donnell, he rates as one of the 2015 season's bigger disappointments. After a promising 2014 season in which he emerged as a legitimate passing game threat and the Giants' starting tight end, Donnell caught just 29 passes for 223 yards and two touchdowns in eight games this year. An Achilles injury limited his offseason work and likely stunted his development both as a receiver and a blocker. Now injured and having basically lost a year of development, Donnell remains an unknown for the Giants going forward, and they could look for another solution at tight end this offseason.
The Giants promoted cornerback Tramain Jacobs from their practice squad to replace Donnell on the roster. They signed cornerback Leon McFadden and tackle Jake Rodgers to fill the two newly vacant spots on their practice squad.