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Three Giants test positive for COVID-19

Kaden Smith at Giants training camp on Aug.

Kaden Smith at Giants training camp on Aug. 5, 2020. Credit: Giants.com/Matthew Swensen

Three more Giants players tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday night, the team announced on Friday, bringing the total number on the reserve/COVID-19 list to six.

A source confirmed that the three new additions to that group are offensive tackle Matt Peart, tight end Kaden Smith and wide receiver Dante Pettis. NFL Network was first to report those names. They will join kicker Graham Gano, who tested positive on Monday, as well as punter Riley Dixon and long snapper Casey Kreiter, who were later added to the reserve list because of close contact with a positive.

Will Hernandez had tested positive late last month and returned to the team last week.

"The players were immediately notified to self-isolate, and the contact tracing process is underway," the Giants said in their statement announcing the new positives. "In all matters relating to positive results and close contacts we're working with the NFL’s Chief Medical Officer."

The Giants are on their bye this week and the players have not had any in-person meetings since their game on Sunday. They were given Monday off and met virtually on Tuesday and Wednesday. The facility was open for them to rehab injuries and voluntarily train in the weight room during that period. The facility was closed for the bye week on Friday.

The Giants said players and coaches who are able to will return to work on Monday with "an adjusted schedule." Because of high positivity rates throughout the league and around the country, the Giants and all NFL teams are operating under the NFL’s intensive protocol as of Saturday. That requires teams to hold all meetings virtually and wear PPE even while practicing outdoors.

Whether or not they are asymptomatic, it’s unlikely that the three new positive cases will be cleared in time to play in the Giants’ next game on Nov. 29 in Cincinnati. Players who test positive must isolate for a minimum of 10 days, which would bring them to that Sunday game. Joe Judge said earlier this week that there is an opportunity for Gano to be cleared in time for the game.

None of the three are starters but Peart and Smith have played large roles in the offense, particularly as blockers for an improved running game. Peart, a rookie, has been rotating between left and right tackle. Smith and veteran Eric Toilolo have been lining up together on the edge to give the Giants extra push.

It’s unclear what roster moves the Giants will make to replace the players, but Eric Tomlinson would likely take over that role for Smith if he is unable to play. Jackson Barton could be the next tackle up for the Giants.

As for Pettis, he was claimed off waivers from the 49ers several weeks ago and had yet to establish a role for himself on offense or special teams.

New York Sports