Canceling practice and shifting to virtual meetings earlier this week didn’t stop a COVID-19 outbreak from hitting the Giants.
Three more team members — offensive lineman Matt Peart, tight end Kaden Smith and newly signed receiver Dante Pettis — tested positive for the novel coronavirus Thursday night and were immediately notified to self-isolate, the team announced Friday morning. The contact tracing process is underway, according to the team.
Kicker Graham Gano tested positive Monday night and fellow specialists Casey Kreiter and Riley Dixon were put on the reserve/COVID-19 list for either high-risk close contacts or positive tests.
“Because of the bye week, the office is closed today,” the Giants said in a statement. “Players and coaches will resume work Monday with an adjusted schedule. The Giants and all teams are operating under the NFL’s intensive protocol for the remainder of the season. In all matters relating to positive results and close contacts we’re working with the NFL’s Chief Medical Officer.”
Guard Will Hernandez was the only Giants player to test positive for the virus prior to this week. He missed two games while quarantining and returned to action last week.
“It was definitely a different experience, one I had never really experienced before,” Hernandez said. “It was weird. But just like everything else, we got through it and I feel great now. I’m good. I’m ready to roll.”
Hernandez described his symptoms as “the standard sickness.”
An asymptomatic player who tested positive can return once 10 days have passed since the initial positive test or five days have passed since the initial positive test and the player receives two consecutive negative PCR virus tests at least 24 hours apart within that five-day period.
A symptomatic player who tested positive cannot return until at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared and at least 72 hours have passed since he last experienced symptoms.
It does not appear Peart, Smith and Pettis will have enough time to get back on the Giants practice field in time to play Nov. 29 against the Bengals.
“The biggest warnings you get from different teams who have dealt with this over the long term is the duration of how tests pop up,” coach Joe Judge said last week. “It’s kind of like weeds. You think you pulled them all out and then there’s one growing right underneath the other one.”