Giants head coach Joe Judge talks to his quarterbacks during...

Giants head coach Joe Judge talks to his quarterbacks during a practice at the team's training camp in East Rutherford, N.J., on Aug. 19. Credit: AP/Seth Wenig

The Giants will hold their full team scrimmage at MetLife Stadium on Friday night.


As of Thursday evening there still was uncertainty over whether the team would go through with what has been billed as the pinnacle of the preseason, the closest thing to a game experience that the organization could create at a time when there are no exhibition contests with other teams. The possibility of not playing as a form of protest against racial injustice lingered over those plans.

The players had some free time on Thursday afternoon – Judge said he hoped they would use it to “think about what they wanted to do” – and planned to meet on Thursday night to discuss their options.

While other NFL teams and other sports have decided to stop playing as a form of protest, the Giants practiced on Wednesday and Thursday. On Wednesday, defensive tackle Leonard Williams said the players came to that decision so that younger players trying to make the team would not be impacted. Since then, however, other teams including the Jets have joined the movement.

“As far as what we’re going to do and the steps we’re going to take next, that’s something that we’re in discussion about,” wide receiver Sterling Shepard said. “It’s sad that we have to take the time away from football and prepare for a season that is coming up here pretty soon to talk about these things, another senseless shooting that’s happened. It’s sad that it has to be that way. But yeah, as far as what we’re going to do next, I’m going to talk to my teammates and the leadership group and the coaches and we’re going to come up with a plan.”

If the Giants go through with the scrimmage, Judge said it would pit the offense against the defense and just let them play.

“We’re going to simulate this game as much as we can, and we’ll let it be natural,” Judge said. “Start with a kickoff, kick return, wherever the ball lies, we’re just going to play it from there. If they go three and out, we punt, we bring out the twos, they go ahead and play.”

Unless, of course, no one does.

“I can’t really live in hypotheticals,” Judge said on Thursday. “Right now, we’re planning on having the scrimmage. We’ll continue the conversations with our team later on and we’ll see where that takes us.”

Martinez sidelined

The Giants practiced on Thursday without inside linebacker Blake Martinez, who was dealing with an undisclosed injury. Joe Judge said the leader on the defense was “just checking with the trainers on something.” Martinez’s absence would not be quite as ominous had the Giants not just lost another linebacker, David Mayo, who had surgery to repair the meniscus in his left knee. That left the position group with mostly inexperienced pieces, including Devante Downs, Josiah Tauaefa and rookie Tae Crowder. Ryan Connelly, who had been sidelined the past week and is returning from ACL surgery last season, did return to the field on Thursday to provide some depth. The Giants hope they won’t necessarily need depth, though. “At this moment right here,” Judge said, “I’m not overly concerned. He’s just kind of checking on something right now” … The Giants signed RB Tavien Feaster and waived WR Tony Brown.

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