Giants left guard Will Hernandez, who has never missed a snap since turning pro, will miss his first career start Monday night thanks to his COVID-19 diagnosis, something that has the 2018 second-round pick “bummed out,” according to teammate Nick Gates.
As he’s done with injured players, head coach Joe Judge has done everything he can within the protocols to keep Hernandez involved while the 25-year-old self-isolates at home.
“It is different being isolated, being on your own for a series of multiple days up to over a week at some point,” Judge said Saturday. “So to me, being connected through the building—[Hernandez] is involved with our meetings on a daily basis through the Zoom process—that kind of gives them a window into the football part of it, right there keeps them connected to what we're doing so when he gets back, he's not really having a slower process and learning what we've put in since he's been gone.”
The Giants have various programs in place to help players diagnosed with COVID-19 navigate through the uncertainty of the virus, which for some can render them with no symptoms. In contrast, others can become very sick toward the point of requiring hospitalization.
Judge said that there is in-house counseling for the players who need it.
“It's also the job of the coordinators and the position coaches to identify their players and where they're at to keep in touch with them,” Judge added.
Judge credited the experience back in the spring in which teams were forced to conduct their off-season programs virtually as a foundation for times like these in which coaches and players stayed in touch with one another.
As for Hernandez and how he’s feeling, Judge said he didn’t want to speak for the guard, adding. “I know he's been in contact with our training staff. I have not seen personally—obviously, we've all been isolated from him. We'll check back in and see how he's doing directly through (Giants Senior Vice President of Medical Services) Ronnie Barnes.
“To me, no news is good news when it comes to our players in situations like this. Hopefully, he's doing well, and we hope for speedy recovery for him.”