EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The NFL announced today that Giants wide receiver Golden Tate has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2019 season for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Tate, a 10-year veteran and first-year Giant, confirmed on July 27 that he was facing the suspension. He appealed the ruling and he appeared at a hearing last week. The announcement today confirms his appeal was denied.
Tate will miss games against Dallas, Buffalo, Tampa Bay and Washington.
At the time the possibility of a suspension was first revealed, Tate released a statement that said, in part, "This past April, during the off-season, my wife and I decided to see a specialist for fertility planning. I started the treatment prescribed to me and just days later I discovered it contained an ingredient that is on the league's banned substance list. I immediately discontinued use, I reported the situation to the Independent Administrator of the NFL Policy on Performance-Enhancing Substances, and I spoke with my coaches and general manager. I did all of this well before a failed test was even confirmed."
The Giants signed Tate on March 15, He is eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games. Tate will be allowed to return to the Giants' active roster on Monday, Sept. 30, following the team's Week 4 game vs. Washington.
Without Tate, who has 611 career receptions, the Giants have several options at wide receiver, including Sterling Shepard, the leading returning wideout, Cody Latimer, Bennie Fowler, Russell Shepard, rookie Darius Slayton, and recently-signed TJ Jones.
*Slayton began practicing this week after being sidelined since the start of training camp with a hamstring injury.
"He's a fine receiver," coach Pat Shurmur said. "He has speed, obviously. Through the OTAs and the time he was on the practice field, he displayed the ability to go down the field and make a catch. We anticipate that he's going to have a bright future. He just needs to get out there."
Shurmur wouldn't commit to Slayton's participation in Friday's home preseason game against the Chicago Bears.
"We'll have to reassess as we go here," Shurmur said. "He had another good day in practice. Each day, he looks a little bit faster out there. We'll just have to see."
*Cornerback DeAndre Baker, the last of the Giants' three first-round draft choices, said he will "definitely" be ready to play in the regular-season opener in Dallas. Baker sprained his left knee in practice on Sunday. "It's a day to day injury," Baker said.
Baker started and had one solo tackle in the preseason opener last week vs. the Jets. He was also called for a pass interference penalty that advanced the Jets 26 yards on a drive that ended with a touchdown.
"I think I played well, there's a few things I can improve on, but I played well overall," Baker said.
Baker has been the starting left corner since OTA's in the spring.
"It's cool. I just try to go out there and do whatever the team needs me to do," he said. "Whatever I can do to help the team, I just go out there and do it."
Antonio Hamilton took Baker's place on the starting defense in practice today.
*If Manning plays on Friday, it will be his 49th preseason game (he has missed 12, nine due to his head coach's decision to keep him out of action and three because of injury). He said today his personal preseason objectives have not changed.
"You always want to go out there, perform well, and make good decisions," he said. "I think in preseason it's important for quarterbacks, because things are live now, the rush is live, it's real, and you're going to have to throw it in some more awkward situations with your feet not always set and different things. It's good to get work on that, feel the rush and move it around, and (then) make good decisions with that."
Shurmur said he likes playing all four quarterbacks on the roster in preseason games. Manning took just three snaps in the opener, but he has no specific workload objectives.
"I don't know if I have an exact formula to that," he said. "I like to get out there and have some drives and get the feel of the game. Get things going, get some long drives going. Face all those circumstances, third downs, a two-minute drive. I think those things are good to get somewhere in pre-season games."
*Running back Wayne Gallman did not practice because "his foot is just a little bit sore," Shurmur said.