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Blake Martinez discusses his COVID-19 experience and the training camp fight

The Giants’ star linebacker talks about returning from the COVID-19 list. He also elaborates on today’s training camp altercation.

Pittsburgh Steelers v New York Giants Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

The New York Giants star linebacker Blake Martinez was activated from the COVID-19 list on Tuesday. In his first day back practicing, Martinez got to experience an all out brawl at Giants training camp. He discussed the fight, and his COVID-19 experience, with the media on Tuesday.

When asked about the fight and if the locker room is contentious at the moment, Martinez responded with this:

“It’s part of football, things happen. We’re all brothers out there,” Martinez said. “You have little fights here and there, but you always come back as a team and finish strong...I think, as brothers, you fight, and then you’re back to being friends right after. It’s one of those things.”

Martinez went on to say he missed the impetus to the altercation, but he was concerned when he saw quarterback Daniel Jones at the bottom of the pile. He even said that Jones is “one of his buddies” and he would have to “save him” if something nefarious was happening to the Giants’ starting quarterback.

Training camp fights are a common phenomenon. Tensions are running high, everyone knows that significant cuts are inevitable, and competition is permeating through the air. I remember when Will Hernandez and Damon “Snacks” Harrison exchanged punches in mini-camp a few years back - these situations happen.

On his COVID-19 experience

It was an unwelcome surprise when Martinez was placed on the reserve/COVID list a week ago. So it wasn’t a surprise when he was also asked about his experience with COVID-19.

(Q): “What can you share about your COVID experience?

(A): Right now, I’m not really focused on it. It’s one of those things you had to work through, but I’m just happy to be back.

(Q): Did you have symptoms? I don’t want to get too personal.

(A): It’s just one of those things where I went through the protocol for that 10 days and once they said I was ready to go back from all the doctors and everything, I was ready to go.”

Martinez said several times that he felt fine physically, and that he was just knocking the rust off after being off for five weeks. He was then asked about his vaccination status,

(Q): “Have you gone through any of the vaccination process?

(A): Yeah, I’m fully vaccinated.

(Q): Before this?

(A): Yeah, before everything.

(Q): So, it was one of those weird things, right?

(A): Exactly, that was my thing.

(Q): It’s like what the heck, right?

(A): Yeah, just like why is this happening to me? But, hey, it happened, and work through it.”

Martinez went on to say that he was more worried about his family; they were all tested and it came back negative, so everything calmed down for him after that. He’ll continue to follow league guidelines and adhere to the protocol set in place when he was asked about the league’s COVID-19 process.

It is very encouraging to hear that Martinez doesn’t seem to have many adverse effects after testing positive. Martinez is an integral part of what this Giants defense wants to be in the 2021 season under Patrick Graham. His leadership, ability to sniff out the run, and physical demeanor is reminiscent of the great days of Giants linebackers. Big Blue hasn’t seen a linebacker like Martinez, on a consistent basis, since the Antonio Pierce days.

We can all agree those were some successful times.