Giants head coach Joe Judges heart breaks for Jabrill Peppers, one of the team’s seven captains and the third of the group to land on season-ending injured reserve with a ruptured ACL tendon and a high ankle sprain.
“It’s really tough for a guy like Jabrill, who puts so much into the team, puts the team first, does everything you ask him to do to the best of his ability, brings so much juice to the team, is a productive player on the field, wears so many hats for you as a team,” Judge said Wednesday.
“It’s always ‘Whatever you need, coach, here I go.’ For this to end his season, that’s something you don’t want to see for any player. It’s tough seeing it for Pep, it really is.”
Peppers’ team-first attitude is a big reason Judge wants him around the rest of the season if his medical condition allows it.
“He’s been a great leader for us,” Judge said of the New Jersey native acquired by the team as part of the Odell Beckham Jr trade with the Cleveland Browns.
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“You can talk about him being local, the Giants mean something to him, it’s something that’s very important. He loves football, he loves this organization, he loves this area. These are things we talk about building as cornerstones and pillars of this program and he’s a very important part of that.”
Judge, who on Monday spoke of the long-term vision he has for the team, made it clear Wednesday that if it were up to him, Peppers would be a part of that vision moving forward.
But Judge also understands there is a business side to things, and that Peppers, who is in the final year of his contract and who might be looking for a more significant role with a bigger payday than what the Giants, projected to be cap-strapped next year, might be able to afford.
“Look, this guy’s in a contract year,” Judge said. “It’s something I talked to him about directly. This is a guy I value a lot in this program. I’d love to have this guy going forward, I told him that directly.”
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