The New York Giants’ COVID-19 woes worsened on Friday as two more defensive backs — safety J.R. Reed and practice squad defensive back Natrell Jamerson reportedly tested positive.
That brings to nine the numbers of Giants impacted by COVID-19. Wide receivers Kadarius Toney and John Ross, defensive backs Aaron Robinson and Adoree’ Jackson, linebacker Cam Brown, edge defender Oshane Ximines and safety Xavier McKinney are already on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. As a close contact, McKinney could clear the COVID protocol in time to play Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.
Other than McKinney, head coach Joe Judge said the Giants are “planning not to have” any of the players currently on the COVID list.
Judge said Friday that the team also appears to be dealing with a flu outbreak.
The Giants have continued to practice, but have gone to virtual team meetings. Judge said they cut Friday’s practice short and sent players home.
The Giants are now extremely short-handed in the defensive secondary. Only James Bradberry, Logan Ryan, Julian Love, Jarren Williams and Keion Crossen are currently available. Steven Parker missed Thursday’s practice with a non-COVID illness.
“The Cowboys aren’t going to care about how many DBs we’ve got,” Ryan said. “You’ve got to be prepared to win the game.”
Judge said there are “some things in the air” regarding what the Giants’ defensive backfield might look like on Sunday.
“We coach who we have available to us,” Judge said. “We get those players ready and prepared. It is what it is.
“We’ve known from the beginning the same thing as last year — the game are going to go on so whoever you have you have to have them ready.
Teams across the league have been hit hard by COVID-19 this week, many harder than the Giants. Here is an updated tracker of players in COVID-19 protocol around the league.
Judge said COVID-19 testing protocols have not changed.
As a precaution, the Giants have also moved their post-game media availability on Sunday to a remote session rather than in-person.