There is no bye week from the pandemic.
The Giants were notified on Monday night that kicker Graham Gano had tested positive for COVID-19, forcing the team to adjust its schedule for the coming days and eliminating the on-field work planned for Tuesday. The team planned to meet virtually throughout the day on Tuesday.
As for Gano, the Giants said he was immediately self-isolated and contact tracing was initiated. It revealed two staff members, neither of whom is on the coaching staff, who had been in close contact with the player. They were told to remain home from the team’s facility. No other players were flagged in the contact tracing as of Tuesday morning.
The Giants played against the Eagles on Sunday and were given the day off on Monday.
Gano was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. If he remains asymptomatic, the Giants hope that he will be able to return to the field in time for their next game on Nov. 29 in Cincinnati. If not, the kicking duties may fall to Ryan Santoso, who was signed off the practice squad.
Gano has been arguably the most consistent Giants player this season, so much so that he signed with the team early in training camp on a one-year deal after missing all of 2019 with a leg injury and recently was given an extension through the 2023 season. He has made 20 straight field-goal attempts, including the two on Sunday that tied the second-longest streak in franchise history. Gano has not missed a field-goal attempt since a 57-yard try was wide left in Chicago in Week 2.
This is the second time during the season the Giants have had a player test positive for COVID-19. Will Hernandez was the first late last month and he missed two games before returning to action last week and playing against the Eagles.
Coach Joe Judge has spoken to the players and coaches in recent days about the threat of COVID-19 during the bye week. Players are required to submit to daily testing protocols even during the bye week.
"We’ve got to make sure to stay proactive with things and not think that, OK, we’re beyond this, we’re past it," Judge said late last week after Hernandez was cleared. "You see every day a different team has something pop up, different tests. The biggest warnings you get from different teams who have dealt with this over a long term is the duration of how tests pop up. It’s kind of like weeds. You think you pulled them all out and then there’s one growing right underneath the other one. To me, the focus has been trying to keep this out of our building as much as possible.
"That’s easier said than done."
While the players were told to remain at home for the virtual meetings on Tuesday, the team’s facility was open to other staffers. The Giants have on-field activities for the players tentatively planned for Wednesday. After that, the players will be off from Thursday through Sunday per NFL rules regarding bye week work schedules. Players and coaches, however, must continue to have daily tests at the team’s facility during that time off.