Despite being wrapped up with the dealings of his own team, New York Giants head coach Joe Judge is well aware of what is going on around the league, specific to the COVID-19 outbreak that continues to affect the Tennessee Titans, putting their weekend game against the Buffalo Bills in jeopardy.
The New England Patriots, whose quarterback Cam Newton tested positive last week, had yet another star player, defensive back Stephon Gilmore, test positive for the virus. That puts their weekend game against the Broncos in jeopardy as the Patriots wait to see if anyone else who came in contact with Newton tests positive.
Gilmore’s test result also now has the Kansas City Chiefs on high alert given that a postgame photo of Gillmore and quarterback Patrick Mahomes congratulating each other without face masks surfaced.
The Giants? They just returned the other day from a cross-country flight to Los Angeles. They will embark on yet another excursion this weekend when they go to play the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, the state of Texas, like California, currently considered a hotspot for the virus.
But despite the success of COVID-19 finding its way into some NFL locker rooms—the Las Vegas Raiders reportedly had one player test positive as well—the Giants are going about their business with continued heightened awareness, making sure they follow all protocols as prescribed by medial and health officials to keep the virus out of the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.
“I think the league has already established protocols and rules, and it’s just our duty to follow those,” Judge said when asked if he was considering having his players isolate in a team designated hotel. “I’m not a doctor, although I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express
(Tuesday) night. But just right now, make sure we follow what they put in place.”
Judge, who has proven so far to be a stickler to details when it comes to the Xs and O’s, has been just as vocal and practice in reminding both the players, coaches, and staff what’s at stake, especially with there reports of the league considering significant penalties for teams that have COVID-19 outbreaks that are found to have breached the protocols that are in place.
Judge, who has continued to resist initiating a team hotel for players, coaches, and staff, said that all he can do is keep reminding everyone of what’s at stake if someone attempts to deviate from the protocols in place.
“Listen, our message to the players now is the same as it’s been since day one of training camp. There are protocols in place, there are things that we have to respect and follow,” he said.
“We’ve been diligent as an organization. The players have been very receptive, they’ve been very obedient to everything going on. As coaches, we have a responsibility to make sure that we kind of keep these guys aware of what’s going on around them.
“They are very aware of what’s going on, but we’ve done a pretty good job as an organization. I’m happy with the progress our players have made.”