Graham Gano spent 2012-2019 with the Carolina Panthers, earning a 2017 Pro Bowl invite with the team, and setting a few franchise kicking records. He doesn’t have a ton of fond memories of the franchise, which he’ll face as a member of the New York Giants this weekend.
Gano signed a big four-year, $17 million deal with Carolina ahead of the 2018 season. His year ended on injured reserve in December with a knee injury, and he missed the entire 2019 season on injured reserve with a left leg injury.
He shed some light on how things ended in Carolina, accusing the franchise of mismanaging the injury, which could have been career-threatening, he says. “It was frustrating,” Gano said of the end of his Panthers tenure, per the Daily News.
Gano suffered a fractured left femur, an injury that he said was misdiagnosed at the time. He ultimately got a second opinion, and had knee surgery in 2019 to correct the issues, allowing him to come back as a Giant a year later.
Giants kicker Graham Gano says the Carolina Panthers doctors misdiagnosed his career-threatening injury in 2018-19. Then they cut him before he could kick for the new coaching staff. But he’s thankful for his time there & his landing spot with the Giants. https://t.co/8jNaphx3xE
— Pat Leonard (@PLeonardNYDN) October 20, 2021
“It was potentially career-ending,” Gano said. “That whole thing was mismanaged.
“They told me I had one injury when it was actually a lot worse than that. What really needed to be fixed wasn’t. I shouldn’t have missed the full season I did. But there’s no changing it now, so I’m just thankful to be playing here.”
Gano never got the chance to kick for Matt Rhule’s staff, and was released the day he was set to do so. He still appreciates that they gave him a chance after he was first released by Washington, but remains frustrated by how things ended.
“Looking back it’s such a great time that I had there, a lot of great memories, we raised a family there, that’s still home,” Gano said. “As frustrating as it was, I’d like to focus on being thankful for that opportunity. After getting released by Washington, they gave me a chance to play again, and I was thankful for that.”
“But at the same time,” Gano added, “it was frustrating. I knew I could still play. The way the injury was handled is frustrating, but I’m super thankful to be here. I love this place. I always try to take the positives out of everything.”
Carolina’s loss is the Giants’ gain. Graham Gano has converted 43-of-46 fields goals and 27-of-29 extra points since signing with New York, much better numbers than the Carolina Panthers, who’ve had three kickers during that time, have put together.
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