Joe Judge confident that NY Giants vs. Buccaneers will be played as scheduled, despite Will Hernandez testing positive for COVID-19
NY Giants head coach Joe Judge is optimistic, despite left guard Will Hernandez testing positive for COVID-19 and six offensive linemen –including four starters– forced to miss Thursday’s practice as a result, that Monday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be played as scheduled.
“We have none right now,” Judge said Thursday, when asked what his concern level is that the game could be postponed. “We’re expecting to play Monday night, and that is our mindset.”
It is entirely possible that the players sent home to isolate in the aftermath of Hernandez’ positive test ultimately test negative and the Giants are able to get back to full strength in time for Monday for the game to proceed as planned.
However, in the event that multiple Giants players wind up testing positive and this becomes an uncontrolled outbreak such as the Tennessee Titans experienced earlier this season, the NFL might have its first candidate for a game being played in a Week 18.
The NY Giants have several difficult decisions to make, whether to keep or deal key veterans ahead of the NFL trade deadline.
The NFL has already announced the closure of facilities across the league on Tuesday for election day, so playing the game Tuesday could prove problematic.
Making matters more difficult, under this hypothetical scenario where the game is forced to be postponed, the Giants and Buccaneers have different bye weeks, which would cause the league to significantly alter the schedule or move the game to Week 18. The Giants are off in Week 11, while the Buccaneers’ bye comes in Week 13.
If none of the players identified as close contacts of Hernandez show any symptoms today and test negative tomorrow, they all could get back into the facility as early as Friday, which would obviously make it much easier to play the game as planned.
Matt Lombardo is the site expert for GMenHQ, and writes Between The Hash Marks each Wednesday for FanSided. Follow Matt on Twitter: @MattLombardoNFL.