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Giants will try to celebrate Thanksgiving amid safety protocols

Head coach Joe Judge of the Giants on

Head coach Joe Judge of the Giants on the sidelines during a game against the Washington Football Team at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Thanksgiving for NFL players traditionally includes a lot of food, plenty of family and friends, and football on television. Just like for mostly everyone else.

This year for the Giants, things will be a little different. Just like for mostly everyone else.

There will be fewer family members coming to town for the holiday and no big team get-togethers like the feast Kevin Zeitler and his wife held for the offensive line last year. The pandemic has scuttled most of those plans. The Giants will practice in the morning, then have the rest of the day to "celebrate" on their own.

"There are certain days of the year you have to make sure you dedicate to [acknowledging] family, which is a critical part of it, and friends, who are a critical part of it," Joe Judge said. "We want to make sure that when the work is done, we can go home and guys can put their hair down and relax and spend some time with their loved ones."

Those with families living with them or in the area can do so, but others can't. Tight end Evan Engram usually has family travel to town to spend some time with him in New Jersey. That won’t be happening.

"I think this year is definitely different for me just because my family knows what’s at stake," he said. "My family is really tuned into how strict we have to be, and I have to be, for my availability and being safe from the virus and stuff. They kind of understand that this is a different year of taking visits up here and coming to see me."

He said he planned to FaceTime with his family in Georgia instead.

"This year," he said, "I might just be by my lonesome on Thanksgiving."

Notes & quotes: S Xavier McKinney, designated to return from injured reserve on Monday, participated in his first practice with the Giants since he was sidelined by a foot fracture in late August . . . Zeitler, who suffered a concussion in the last Giants game on Nov. 15, was a full participant in Wednesday’s practice . . . CB James Bradberry was excused from Wednesday’s practice and will miss Thursday’s as well. He had a family matter that Judge encouraged him to attend to in person. He is expected to return to practice on Friday . . . Some of the Giants’ "practice players of the week" from this season got to wear jerseys with the names and numbers of players from the team’s Ring of Honor at Wednesday’s workout. Rookie LB Carter Coughlin wore Lawrence Taylor’s 56, QB Colt McCoy wore Frank Gifford’s 16, OL Chad Slade wore Chris Snee’s 76, LB David Mayo wore George Martin’s 75 and DB Jarren Williams wore Mel Hein’s 7.

New York Sports