Giants Brian Daboll says Daniel Bellinger ‘trending in the right direction’

New York Giants tight end Daniel Bellinger (82) is tackled by Dallas Cowboys cornerback Jourdan Lewis (2) during the second quarter of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J.
AP Photo/Adam Hunger

The Giants may get some more good news as they try to get back some key pieces for the stretch run of their season. Head coach Brian Daboll had some news on injured rookie tight end Daniel Bellinger on Tuesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

Bellinger suffered a fractured orbital bone during the Giants’ win over the Jacksonville Jaguares on Oct. 23 and hasn’t been on the field since.

 “I would say he’s trending in the right direction. So, we’ll see how it goes out there today, but I’m optimistic for Belly,” Daboll said before practice. 

Bellinger participated in the full-pad practice with a visor on his helmet for added protection. There is hope that he could be ready to play on Sunday when the Washington Commanders come to East Rutherford.

“I’m still taking it day by day just seeing how it feels, but today it felt good, and I felt comfortable,” the rookie told reporters. 

He added later: “The final step is to just see how I feel about it, but it’s still going day by day and step by step to see how I feel. It’s about obviously the hitting stuff which I feel comfortable with, but it’s also seeing the strain that the eye takes because the muscles when they took that blow, just kind of seeing the strain that they take with the physical activity each day.”

Getting Bellinger back would be a big help for the Giants, who have been short offensive targets for quarterback Daniel Jones to go to in the air. Bellinger had been developing into a strong receiver, catching 16 passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns. 

It won’t be exactly clear where Bellinger will be when he steps back onto the field for a game. Bellinger was in pain after Jaguars linebacker Devin Lloyd accidentally caught the tight end in the eye. 

Bellinger did undergo surgery and had been dealing with double vision after the incident, butt he told reporters on Tuesday that the vision issue had subsided. 

Now, Bellinger is just working on getting back to where he was before everything happened.

“Just getting back into a rhythm,” he explained. “Getting back into getting speed, and I feel good about it. The biggest step was obviously hitting and hitting hard with my helmet and pads on, and it felt good today.”

There’s also the issue of getting used to the visor when he’s on the field.

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Bellinger had never worn a visor before now and he has had to adjust to the intricacies that come along with wearing one. Still, he felt it hasn’t impacted his ability to catch the ball.

“Just something I still have to get used to with the visor, but it hasn’t really affected me at all,” Bellinger said.