The Giants did Derrick Dillon a favor on Tuesday night. They fired him.
The rookie wide receiver from LSU had been signed to the team’s practice squad over the weekend. He also recently became a father. Head coach Joe Judge decided that Dillon’s time this week would be better spent with his baby and family than on the practice fields for the Giants, so after 4 p.m. on Tuesday – when Dillon was guaranteed to receive a paycheck for a week of work – he was terminated. The dismissal came with the understanding that he would be back with the team next week.
The move backs up what Judge said he would bring to the job when he was first hired back in January.
“I’m about caring for the players in the locker room,” he said at his introductory press conference. “Let’s not forget there’s a human element to this game. Let’s not think that in professional sports that paying a paycheck to somebody makes it absent of empathy. We need to make sure that we take care of the players in our locker room, that we treat them the right way … It’s our responsibility to take care of them on a daily basis and make sure that when they are done with our game, they are better furthered for the rest of their career as a father, a husband, and a professional in whatever avenue they take.”
It helped Dillon that the Giants have three other wide receivers on the practice squad — fellow rookies Binjimen Victor and Austin Mack, along with second-year player Alex Bachman — so there will not be a dearth of route-runners in the workouts. The Giants also added defensive back Ryan Lewis and running back Rod Smith to fill out their practice squad for the rest of the week. That puts them at the maximum number of 16, meaning someone will have to go to make room for Dillon if he does return.
Of course, a lot can happen between now and then, including injuries in the game Monday night that could require promotions from the practice squad. The roster will be fluid throughout the season.
Sometimes, as in the case of Dillon, for very good reasons.