Corey Ballentine, the New York Giants’ sixth-round pick who suffered a gunshot wound early Sunday in an incident where his best friend and teammate, Dwane Simmons, was killed, is expected to be at the team’s rookie mini-camp this weekend.
Giants’ GM Dave Gettleman broke that news on Monday during an appearance on Sirius XM NFL Radio with co-hosts Pat Kirwan and Jim Miller.
Mike Garafolo of NFL Network had previously reported that Ballentine, a cornerback from Washburn, was struck in the glute. Ian Rapoport reported that Ballentine’s physical recovery is expected to take just a few weeks.
Gettleman said he spoke with Ballentine on Sunday.
“He’s a really bright kid, and he’s a great kid, he really is. What happened is tragic and unfortunate. I mean, that’s his best friend,” Gettleman said.
“For the kids that are real quality people we put a blue on ‘em. This kid was a blue. This kid was a captain this year, and he’s just a great kid.”
Gettleman said that as a player Ballentine really impressed him at the Senior Bowl.
“When a Division II kid shows up at the Senior Bowl we’re looking for him to step up the plate. Is he gonna cower? Is the competition going to be too big for him? Or, is he going to step top and really compete? That’s what Corey did. He just kept getting better and better,” Gettleman said.
Ballentine took to Twitter Monday to pay tribute to Simmons:
God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers. I love you forever. Thank you for being a true friend who uplifted me, corrected me when i was in the wrong, and accepted my flaws. Thank you for being a brother to me. Thank you for letting me experience your life pic.twitter.com/SfqX9v6qgY— Corey Ballentine (@cbxiii__) April 29, 2019