NY Giants coach Joe Judge addressed the video from last Friday evening that showed quarterback Daniel Jones, running back Saquon Barkley, and others out and about without wearing masks
NY Giants head coach Joe Judge is aware of the video of his quarterback, Daniel Jones maskless following an outing with teammates in Manhattan last Friday night, and franchise running back, Saquon Barkley riding a bicycle just days before scheduled surgery to repair a torn ACL, and says he’s addressed it with his team.
“I’ve spoken to all the individuals involved [in the video] as well as the entire team on what happened this past weekend,” Judge said prior to Tuesday’s practice. “We’re going to deal with it internally.”
See the video of Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones, reported to show them partying maskless in NYC Friday night, perhaps in violation of NFL protocol.
Fortunately for the Giants, at least through the first seven weeks, they have been able to avoid COVID-19 entering the locker room, or the facility, as teams across the league have faced varying degrees of struggles containing the virus that has led the the postponement of games, and in the case of the Tennessee Titans, a fine from the league.
Still, Judge defended his players actions, which curried a certain amount of unnecessary risk during their free time away from headquarters.
“The only thing I’m going to say on that is that these guys have been very responsible from the very beginning,” Judge explained. “They’ve tried to do everything right the entire time, I believe they’re trying to do the right thing as teammates by going out and having dinner together the other night. We have to make sure that we’re conscious as an organization with everything we do, but we’re going to deal with everything internally.”
Under normal circumstances, there is nothing wrong with players gathering for dinner, but the NFL prohibits players from indoor gatherings of 15 or more people this season, and New York State has a mandatory mask mandate in place.
Previously, the Giants said that they were investigating the incident to see whether Jones or Barkley, or any of the other players involved violated any of the COVID-19 protocols.
Judge says that any disciplinary actions will be handled internally.
At the very least, Jones, Barkley and their teammates’ actions were poor optics. At their worst, it was an unnecessary risk to themselves, the rest of the team, and the community. Judge says he’s stressed the importance of doing the right thing every single time in their public and private lives with what is at stake for the team, league, and the community at this time.
“We’ve got to make the right decisions,” Judge said. “What they decide to do on a simulated bye week, try to hang together and go to dinner as a team, that’s something they were looking to do. I had a lot of in depth conversations with the rest of the guys involved and the team. They understand the consequences that anything you do right now during this COVID environment and the public eye, how they’re going to be looked at and how we have to be careful and make sure we make the right decisions.”
Matt Lombardo is the site expert for GMenHQ, and writes Between The Hash Marks each Wednesday for FanSided. Follow Matt on Twitter: @MattLombardoNFL.