The New York Giants roster has been ravaged by the coronavirus over the past week. First, it was kicker Graham Gano, fresh off a new contract extension, landing on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Shortly after, Gano was joined by two fellow special teamers, punter Riley Dixon and long snapper Casey Kreiter as close contacts.
On Friday, the team announced that three more players have tested positive for the virus and have immediately begun to self-isolate. According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, those players in question are offensive tackle Matt Peart, wideout/return specialist Dante Pettis and tight end Kaden Smith, each of whom will be placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list later today.
Here is the team’s statement regarding the matter:
Over the course of last night, we were notified that three Giants players have tested positive for COVID-19. The players were immediately notified to self-isolate, and the contact tracing process is underway.
Because of the bye week, the Giants office is closed today. Players and coaches will resume work on Monday with an adjusted schedule.
The Giants and all teams are currently operating under the league’s intensive protocol for the remainder of the season. As in all matters relating to positive test results and close contacts, we are working closely with the NFL’s Chief Medical Officer.
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Coach Judge Addresses ‘Timetable’ of Gano’s Return
ESPN’s Jordan Raanan has reported that the trio of positive tests for Peart, Pettis and Smith “likely knocks them out” for the team’s upcoming game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 12, following this week’s bye. It’s also unknown at this time if the aforementioned Gano, arguably the team’s most constant performer this year, will be ready come Nov. 29 against the Bengals as well.
“There’s a timetable with that,” Judge told reporters earlier this week. “There’s an opportunity for that, but there are some other things that go into that as well. Are there any setbacks in that time window? When does the physician clear him? There’s a ramp up period. Him, like everybody else, we have to be fair to this guy. He’s sitting in a hotel room for a couple weeks. Is it fair to him to put him on the field and ask him to go ahead and do his job? These are all things we have to account for. In fantasy football, yeah, plug him in and we’re good to go. In reality, are we doing the fair thing by him individually and the team collectively to take someone who hasn’t had two weeks of an opportunity to prepare to put him out there to do a job?”
If Gano is not made available come game time next weekend, the Giants will call upon Ryan Santoso to man the placekicker duties in Gano’s absence.
“Ryan’s a guy who has a huge leg, he’s shown a tremendous amount of improvement since he’s been here,” Judge said of Santoso, who the team signed from their practice squad on Wednesday. “It’s a unique skillset that he does all three, field goals, kickoffs and punts. He’s shown a lot of improvement in all three phases. I think (special teams coaches) Tom (Quinn) and T-Mac (Thomas McGaughey) do a tremendous job of working with this guy.”
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