Rookie TE Daniel Bellinger could be unexpected Giants starter

Daniel Bellinger is paying attention to his defender’s hips. He wants to see them open up, the body giving up what direction the defender is going, so he can find space the other way. He’s looking for ways to make that happen. Maybe a stutter step. Maybe something else.

This all used to be relatively straightforward for Bellinger. Get to the top of a route and muscle your way to the ball. Easy. It got him this far, through four years at San Diego State with 771 receiving yards in his college career and into the fourth round of the draft.


“Instead of running a route like lines on paper,” Bellinger said, “you’re kinda making more creative of a route.”

Giants tight end Daniel Bellinger
Robert Sabo

Bellinger, who turns 22 next month, is only at the beginning of his NFL learning curve, but how far he progresses could have ramifications quickly for the Giants. Ricky Seals-Jones, who came into camp as the presumptive starter at tight end, has been out for more than a week with an undisclosed injury. That opens a door for Bellinger, who started the preseason opener and has worked with the first team in Seals-Jones’ stead.

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