Ah, the bye week. It was a chance to sit back, rest up and recharge for the stretch run of the regular season.
Just don’t confuse the Giants’ weekend off with a magic elixir, coach Joe Judge said.
"The biggest mistake people think is when you come out of a bye, you are automatically fresher and faster and all that kind of stuff," he said last week. "I think that’s a myth."
OK, then, maybe he’d prefer the Giants had kept on playing? They have won two in a row and even picked up a half-game on the NFC East-leading Eagles, who lost to the Browns on Sunday. The Giants (3-7), who along with Dallas and Washington are a half-game behind the Eagles (3-6-1), do seem to have some momentum going.
"I don’t really believe that exists, to be honest with you," Judge said.
So what does he want?
"We’ve got to have a good day on Monday."
That’s when the Giants return to practice after four days away from the coaches and — because of the positive COVID-19 tests last week that forced the team to go completely virtual in meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday — seven full days without any on-field activity.
More important than the time off is how the Giants come back from it. They’ll do that Monday.
"The only momentum we’ll be able to transfer and create is how we practice and how we play," Judge said. "We have to come back next week ready to go . . . You come back and that Monday practice, that’s very necessary to make sure everybody gets woken up, knocks off some rust, has a good day on the field and that that can transfer going forward."
It’s even more important than it was when the Giants were dismissed. It will be their first day with a new offensive line coach, with Dave DeGuglielmo having replaced Marc Colombo. After nearly a week of those players stewing in questions about what the change means for them, they’ll start to get some answers.
It also will be the first chance in almost two full weeks for the Giants to see some of their injured players in action. How safety Xavier McKinney, linebacker Oshane Ximines and cornerback Ryan Lewis look in their workouts will go a long way toward determining Giants decisions on when (or if) they will be activated off injured reserve.
So the Giants took their bye not because they wanted it, not because they needed it, but because, well, the league made them do it.
And Judge? After all of the turmoil of showdowns with coaches and an outbreak of positive COVID-19 tests, he said he hoped to enjoy some time away from it all.
"I’d be lying if I didn’t say that when this weekend rolls around, there is going to be a point where I’m going to dive in and be Dad again," he said of tending to his four kids. "I’ve got to dive in with the kids and give them all of my undivided attention. I’ll probably be way more worn out from that than I am from a week of game prep."
He can "recover" Monday