On Friday, New York Giants head coach Joe Judge held his first media session since the team opened camp. The presser, like every other in this country these days was hosted virtually.
With MLB struggling to get their season going in this summer of COVID-19 outbreaks, Judge spoke about following protocols and being personally responsible. Player and coaching contingency plans in place, but evaluations on potential adjusted structure still ongoing. Also says wearing a mask, social distancing and staying home is a fair trade-off for playing in the NFL.
“The first thing we have to all understand is, everyone at this level has sacrificed to get here,” Judge said. “We’re going to have to make some more sacrifices, whether that’s socially away from the game, how we interact with friends and family members throughout this season. But we have to make the right decisions. The biggest thing is everyone has to understand that all of our decisions directly impact each other. It’s not fair for me to go out and do something and put myself at risk and come in here and get players sick. That’s not my right. I’m not entitled to do that. We have to all make the right decisions, both in the building following the protocols and away from the building. I think ultimately as a league, we just need to trust that the plan in place that the league put, make sure we adhere to the protocols, make sure we wear the PPEs. Let’s be careful, let’s be cautious, but we can operate aggressively if we just follow the plan in place.”
The Giants have had one player opt-out of the season (veteran Nate Solder) and another placed on the reserve /COVID list (second-year wide receiver David Sills). Judge, like all of us, is taking things in stride, letting the professionals do their jobs.
“I have a lot of confidence in the way that our medical team has set up these protocols and how they’re handling everything going forward,” he said. “I think our players will as well. We’re taking every possible step to make sure our players are coming into work every day and focused on football, but knowing that they’re safe if they follow the protocols and the plan we have in place. The biggest thing for us is any player who cannot be with the team on a daily basis due to any kind of illness is we can extend the meetings through Zoom like we did in the spring. The one thing is it’s not something foreign for our players now. They’ve already gone through an entire spring of it, so if they can’t be in the meeting room with us, they can be in a hotel room with whatever their personal situation is and still participate in the meetings and not fall behind on the mental aspect that day.”
It is the beginning of what promises to be the most unusual season in the history of American team sports.