Good morning, New York Giants fans!
Crowder on ‘Non-Football Injury’ list
When we reported Tuesday that David Sills V was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list and Alex Tanney the ‘Non-Football Illness’ list, we missed a third Giants’ player. Linebacker Tae Crowder, the final player selected in the 2020 NFL Draft, has been placed on the NFL’s ‘Non-Football Injury’ list.
Crowder is expected to compete with fellow draftees Cam Brown, Carter Coughlin, T.J. Brunson and others for a reserve linebacker and special teams role.
If something was capable of going sideways for a league operating without a bubble during the COVID-19 pandemic, baseball would send a warning to the NFL. Football executives didn’t expect it to come so soon in the season — after a single weekend baseball series — nor did they anticipate the warning to be a full-blown air raid siren. But here we are, with the Miami Marlins already teetering on the brink with 15 players and two coaches testing positive for COVID-19.
The seemingly unforgivable sin? Playing a game almost immediately after the team allegedly knew that at least three players had tested positive for COVID-19.
That was the eyebrow-raiser for NFL teams. Rolling the dice with the likelihood of playing multiple infected players might be one of the first things that will end up separating the NFL from Major League Baseball. If there’s anything the NFL is taking away from MLB’s first huge mistake, it’s that an outbreak preceding a game isn’t going to be taken lightly. Especially if it means an NFL team would take the chance of sending out a team on Sunday that might have multiple infected players taking the field.
“Definitely a ‘no’,” said one NFL general manager, when asked if he’d risk playing with a swath of potentially infected players.
“No way,” said another. “Never.”
As of last week, Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians reportedly was considering how close he’ll be to his players. Arians has now decided that, on game days, he’ll be as close as always.
Asked by reporters on Tuesday whether he has considered coaching from the booth, Arians said this: “No. There’s no chance of me coaching from a box. Once we get a [face] shield that I like, I’ll have my mask and shield on.”
Arians turns 68 in October, and he has had three different forms of cancer. He has no concerns about his own safety, however, when it comes to the pandemic.
“I’m very comfortable with our protocols now that I’ve gotten used to the protocols,” Arians said. “We had a week of staff meetings where we went through the protocols, how to teach with a mask on and all of the things that we are going to do differently. I’m very, very comfortable with it. As far as on the field, I’ll maintain a mask and probably a shield just for personal use, and coach like I’ve always coached.”
Players with a medical “high-risk” opt-out like Marcus Cannon and Michael Pierce, alongside players like Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Star Lotulelei, Dont’a Hightower and Patrick Chung made their decisions to not play in 2020 public over the past few days, exposing their social media accounts to a swarm of anonymous opinion-havers who, from the safety of their @TomG9999823271324887765 perch, feel it necessary to criticize a decision that is noble at best and, at the least, completely none of our business.
This virus has exposed yet another societal chasm in how we view the world and who we choose to listen to. At this point, it’s not an argument worth having, simply a caveat that needs to be added. But when it comes to decisions like these made on a personal level, decisions that could affect the quality of someone’s life both now and far in the future, there is no ground to stand on. This goes beyond the outer reaches of what we are able to speak about.
In case you missed it
- Giants’ Saquon Barkley No. 31 on NFL ‘Top 100’ players list
- Giants’ David Sills V placed on COVID-19 reserve list
- Better or worse? New York Giants wide receiver position
- NFL needs to consider a bubble format as it prepares for a 2020 season
- New York Giants’ 53-man roster projection: Who will, and won’t, make the team
- A feeling of trepidation, rather than joy, at the return of football
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