When you dole out $30 million to a player in free agency with the hops that he will quarterback your defense for the foreseeable future, chances are his absence from one practice, let alone a handful, will lead to a few questions.
That’s exactly the case with New York Giants linebacker Blake Martinez, who the team has been vastly uninformative about in regards to his availability in recent days.
On the heels of a missed Thursday practice, head coach Joe Judge played down Martinez’s absence, noting “he’s just checking with the trainers on something. We’ll have more updates later. We’ll let you guys know.” Updates, as SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano pointed out, never came.
Judge continued to sidestep questions regarding the linebacker after he was notably absent from the team’s Blue-White scrimmage on Friday.
“On Blake, no, there’s no update based on what we talked about [Thursday] night,” Judge said. “I’ll check with the trainers and see where he’s at right there.”
On Sunday, fans finally got their first glimpse of an update, although Judge did his best to keep the reasoning under wraps.
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Martinez Back at Practice With Knee Wrapped, Judge Remains Vague
“I can’t go into everything on account of HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability], but I would say he’s fully healed, he’s ready to go,” Judge told New York Daily News’ Pat Leonard of Martinez, who returned to practice on Sunday. “It was good to have him back out there with us today.”
Martinez was sporting a small wrap just below his right knee in his return, taking part in a “light work“, shorts and helmets, 90-minute practice session. However, when Leonard asked Judge whether Martinez’s absence over recent days had to do with a physical injury or an illness, Judge opted not to delve further on the matter.
“I’m not gonna go into the specifics of any injury or reason off the field, but I’m relieved to have Blake back out there with us,” Judge said.
Concern Growing at LB for Giants?
While the organization remains adamant on their avoidance of the subject, it appears the Giants have dodged some sort of bullet when it comes to Martinez’s health. Certainly good news for a linebacking corps that has been bitten by the injury bug in recent days.
Fellow linebacker David Mayo, the team’s returning leading tackler from last season, is expected to be on the mend for at least a month following surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.
Thankfully, Ryan Connelly appears to be back to full strength after missing the majority of his rookie campaign with a torn ACL, showing well in pass-coverage during Friday’s exhibition. While Devante Downs and Mr. Irrelevant Tae Crowder both put forth solid outings in the scrimmage, adding to their already stellar summers.
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