Add the New York Giants to the NFL’s COVID-19 mess. On Thursday, it was reported left guard Will Hernandez tested positive.
Numerous NFL teams have had players and/or personnel test positive for COVID-19 this year, which has caused a fire hazard in terms of contact tracing and schedule changes for both practices and games. And now, we can add the New York Giants to that list of organizations.
On Thursday, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported Big Blue had one player test positive for the lingering virus. That specific player — not initially named — and those who were in close contact with him are therefore not present at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center for Thursday’s practice.
The #Giants had a player who tested positive for COVID-19, sources tell me and @RapSheet. The player and his close contacts are not in the building today. The rest of the team is there, proceeding as normal.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) October 29, 2020
Shortly after, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported that the Giants are placing left guard Will Hernandez on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. All but four of the team’s offensive linemen have thus been quarantined.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 29, 2020
Nonetheless, the players sent home weren’t designated as “high risk,” per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN. Thus, they may return to the facility by Friday.
As of now, the Giants players sent home as close contacts have not been determined as 'high risk,' per source, which means they could return to work as early as tomorrow if things stay on track.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) October 29, 2020
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network subsequently reported that the Giants sent home outside linebackers coach Bret Bielema and defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson, who were considered to be close contacts.
More on the #Giants, from me and @MikeGarafolo: Two #Giants coaches were sent home because they were considered COVID-19 close contacts: OLB coach Bret Bielema and DBs coach Jerome Henderson. So now several OL and two coaches.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 29, 2020
The Giants released a statement on the matter, per their official website.
“Late last night, we were notified that a Giants player tested positive for COVID-19. The player was immediately self-isolated, and the contact tracing process was initiated.
“All of the player’s close contacts were identified and were informed to remain home today. Those individuals will participate in meetings remotely. We are working closely with the NFL’s Chief Medical Officer regarding next protocol steps.
“Quest Diagnostics Training Center will remain open, and the rest of the team will follow their normal practice and meeting schedule.”
This will be an interesting storyline to follow ahead of the Giants’ Week 8 matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next Monday night.