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Eli Manning and Golden Tate will get to see what could have been

Golden Tate signed with the Giants thinking he would be catching passes from Eli Manning this fall.

It will finally happen Monday night — in Week 14.

By the time Tate came back from his four-game suspension to start the season, Manning had been benched and Daniel Jones was under center. But with Jones now sidelined by a sprained ankle and Tate back from a concussion, the wide receiver will get his first regular-season shot with Manning on Monday against the Eagles.

“Eli’s time is here again and I’m going to do my best job to help us win,” Tate said Saturday after practice. “I’m excited about an opportunity to go out there and play with him. I thought in the offseason we did a pretty good job building a connection. We’ll see what happens Monday.”

Tate and Manning quickly developed a strong rapport in training camp, but those good feelings took a hit when Tate was handed a suspension for violating the NFL’s performance enhancing substance policy. Once Tate was allowed back in the building, Jones was running the show and the veteran’s focus turned to helping the rookie however he could.

Eli Manning
Eli Manning talks with Golden TateStefan Jeremiah

Tate had been a strong target for Jones — catching 36 passes for 450 yards and four touchdowns in seven games — before suffering a concussion during the loss to the Bears two weeks ago. His second concussion this year (the first coming back in the preseason) forced Tate to miss last week’s loss to the Packers, but he was finally cleared from the protocol Friday.

“Concussions are something I take very, very seriously,” Tate said. “Obviously talking about the brain, that’s something you only get one brain. When football’s all said and done, that’s kind of what I’m going to hang my hat on. My body’s going to break down, but I want to keep my mind strong. So it’s definitely important. If I didn’t think I was ready to be back out there this week, I wouldn’t hesitate talking to the coaches and doctors and whoever else.”

The 31-year-old felt his situation was different from fellow receiver Sterling Shepard — who sustained two concussions in four weeks earlier this season — because of the longer time between his head injuries. But he estimated he has had five or six concussions during his career.

“It’s something I definitely think about on occasion,” Tate said. “It’s not something that’s pleasant to think about, just because you don’t know and you hear about all the studies that are coming out about guys that have mental issues and doing some crazy things when they get older. I just pray that my mind stays strong, that 20 years from now I can remember what was going on right around now. But it’s something that we know we signed up for. I’m going to do what I can now to keep my brain strong, doing different activities to help. We’ll see what happens, but it’s definitely something scary to think about.”

Tate will be in familiar territory Monday night after making a cameo with the Eagles last season. The Lions traded him to Philadelphia midseason for a third-round pick and Tate played the final eight weeks, plus two playoff games, catching passes from Carson Wentz and Nick Foles.

The Eagles have been hurting at wide receiver this season, and though Tate said he was open to re-signing there as a free agent, he did just fine for himself by landing a four-year, $37.5 million deal with the Giants.

“I’m not there to satisfy the people at Lincoln Financial Field,” he said. “I’m trying to help the New York Football Giants get a win and get something going.”

For more on the Giants, listen to the latest episode of the “Blue Rush” podcast:

Original article: https://nypost.com/2019/12/08/eli-manning-and-golden-tate-will-get-to-see-what-could-have-been/

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