A few weeks ago I reported here that, while Eli Manning was organizing practices with his receivers, Justin Tuck was choosing not to hold practice with the defense. I felt the reasoning behind it was good; the last thing this team needs are injuries, especially when the players are without insurance and their trainers.
But with June quickly approaching and no imminent end to the lockout in sight, players are changing their minds.
Originally reported here, Tuck, Manning and several other veterans are now in the process of planning their own mini-training camp, which would likely be held at the end of June. Ideally this camp will last two weeks and will focus on rebuilding their team camaraderie in a safe way to prevent injuries.
“We have a veteran team. We didn’t have too much turnover and it won’t take us long to get in our stride.”
Injuries certainly remain a major concern. An injury during a non-sanctioned workout could be deemed a “non-football” occurrence, meaning teams aren’t responsible for future payments on contracts. The NFL is a business first, so the question is not whether a player will be treated this way, but which players will suffer this fate. I do believe the Giants need to hold these practices in order to stay competitive, but all players need to be aware of the risks they are taking by working out, and encouraged not to over-extend themselves. They need to think long term and keep their competitive sides in-check. They have been trained their whole lives to give 110% every time they step onto the field, no matter what, so this is easier said than done.