Giants place Will Hernandez on COVID-19 list; team sends multiple OL, two coaches home

The New York Giants are dealing with a positive COVID-19 test.

The team announced Thursday morning that a player tested positive for COVID-19 and that the player and his close contacts are not in the building while the rest of the team preps for Monday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“Late last night, we were notified that a Giants player tested positive for COVID-19,” the Giants said in a statement. “The player was immediately self-isolated, and the contact tracing process was initiated. All of the player’s close contacts were identified and were informed to remain home today. Those individuals will participate in meetings remotely. We are working closely with the NFL’s Chief Medical Officer regarding next protocol steps.

“Quest Diagnostics Training Center will remain open, and the rest of the team will follow their normal practice and meeting schedule.”

It is the first positive test for the Giants since testing began.

Big Blue quarantined all but four of their offensive linemen after one tested positive for COVID-19, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported. However, none of the players, aside from the one who tested positive, are considered “high risk” close contacts, which means they could be back in the facility on Friday, Pelissero added.

Two Giants coaches — outside linebackers coach Bret Bielema and defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson — were also sent home because they were considered close contacts, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo reported.

Guard Will Hernandez will be placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, Pelissero added.

Following the Giants’ Week 7 Thursday night loss to Philadelphia, a group of New York players — including quarterback Daniel Jones and running back Saquon Barkley — gathered for a group dinner Friday, and were caught on video dining without masks. Coach Joe Judge commented on the situation this week saying the team would handle the issue in-house.

It’s unclear at this point if the positive test stemmed from the dinner.

Much like with the Las Vegas Raiders last week, close contacts would need to quarantine for five days if they are considered “high risk” exposures.

The Giants playing Monday night helps give players an extra day, but the timing of when the positive tests and the close contact occurred will determine the next course of action.

As every week has shown, playing a season during a global pandemic comes with uncertainties that will need to be dealt with on a rolling basis.

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