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Joe Judge: No shirking responsibility in coronavirus fight

Wed Aug 5 6:19pm ET
By TOM CANAVAN
AP Sports Writer

In this Feb. 25, 2020, file photo, New York Giants head coach Joe Judge speaks during a press conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)


Joe Judge is doing more than teach football to the New York Giants in his first training camp as the coach of a franchise that has fallen on hard times.

In a world learning to deal with the ever-present threat of coronavirus, Judge has been relentless in discussing safety and responsibility to his players and coaches.

As we have seen in baseball, a mistake here or there, can put either a team, or likely, multiple teams on the sidelines for more than a week.

When the Giants players and coaches reported to the teams last month, many were given the option of staying either in a team hotel or traveling back and forth from home to the team's headquarters in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

There were no mandates everyone had to stay in one place, Judge said, noting the NFL is not requiring players and coaches be in a bubble-like atmosphere like the NBA and NHL.

Those who chose to stay in the hotels were given rules and curfews. The ones who went home are not free to do what they want.

''We express to the ones on the outside that they have to make the right decisions how they structure their nights,'' Judge said Wednesday in a virtual call with the media.

''I'd say the biggest message I've had to everybody, whether it's my coaches, the support staff and the players. It's not about being in a bubble. That doesn't exist. It's about making the right decisions away from the building and making sure we don't bring someone in the building.''

Judge said neither him nor anyone on the team has the right to go out to get something to eat and possibly bring back the virus to the team. It not only hurts the team, the impact might be felt around the league.

''Everyone's working (the 32 teams) toward the same goal,'' he added. ''No one within this building is entitled to cut short the pursuit of that goal.''

Talking about seeing his team for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic knocked out organized team activities and camps for rookies and veterans, Judge said he was pleased with the energy the team has shown and its desire to improve.

''That's all I ask for right now,'' he said. ''There's an urgency to improve. There's an urgency to learn. We've got a lot of guys that have reached out to coaches on their own for help.

''A lot of players are in meeting rooms doing extra together. You can see the things you want to go ahead and your culture coming together already. And that's important. That's got to sustain over the test of time. A few days together doesn't solve all problems. But as far as the starting point, I'm very pleased with that in the direction that we're going.''

Judge said offensive lineman Nick Gates, who signed a two-year extension after Nate Solder opted out of the season last week because of concerns about the virus, will be tried at tackle, guard and center. It was assumed Gates would battle veteran Cam Fleming for the right tackle spot and first-round draft pick Andrew Thomas would take over for Solder at left tackle.

Judge also said he is just looking for second-year quarterback Daniel Jones to show daily progress in a new system. Had it been the same system, Jones probably would have been asked to show a greater understanding of it.

The new coach said defensive tackle Leonard Williams, who is earning $16.1 million this season, is doing everything asked to heal a hamstring injury. It is not known whether he will be ready for the first practice.

Player Notes
Michael Thomas Aug 5 6:50pm ET

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas broke the single-season receptions record last year by racking up 149 catches, surpassing Marvin Harrison's 2002 mark of 143. While that accomplishment would be good enough for most throughout the league, the 27-year-old is aiming to exceed his 2019 total heading into the 2020 campaign. Thomas convincingly dominated the fantasy picture last season, and in addition to his catch total, he also accumulated over 1,700 yards while finishing fifth in yards after the catch. He is expected to finish as the top fantasy wideout this season, and will likely get snagged off the draft board within the top three picks, especially in PPR formats.

From RotoBaller

Ronald Jones II Aug 5 3:10pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II was called "the main guy" in the running back room by his coach Bruce Arians. Arians said he is confident in Jones II and that the other guys are fighting for roles. The other guys include third-round draft pick Ke'Shawn Vaughn, who will lose valuable practice time after he hit the COVID-19 list, and veteran running back LeSean McCoy, who won't challenge for a lead back role at this point in his career. Jones II looks the part after an offseason spent bulking up and catching hundreds of passes to address a weakness in his game. The 23-year-old has RB2 upside in the 7th round but it's likely that Vaughn and McCoy cut into his ceiling in 2020, despite what Arians said.

From RotoBaller

Travis Benjamin Aug 5 9:23am ET

San Francisco 49ers WR Travis Benjamin has opted out of the 2020 season.

From TheHuddle

Maxx Williams Aug 4 6:33pm ET

Arizona Cardinals TE Maxx Williams (undisclosed) passed his physical Tuesday, Aug. 4, and was taken off the Physically Unable to Perform list.

From TheHuddle

D.J. Hayden Aug 4 6:33pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars DB D.J. Hayden (knee) passed his physical and was removed from the Physically Unable to Perform list Tuesday, Aug. 4.

From TheHuddle

Ukeme Eligwe Aug 4 6:23pm ET

Updating a previous story, Las Vegas Raiders LB Ukeme Eligwe was placed on the Reserve/Opt-Out list Tuesday, Aug. 4.

From TheHuddle

Allen Hurns Aug 4 6:23pm ET

Updating a previous story, Miami Dolphins WR Allen Hurns was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday, Aug. 4.

From TheHuddle

LeSean McCoy Aug 4 6:13pm ET

Updating previous stories, free-agent RB LeSean McCoy (Chiefs) officially signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tuesday, Aug. 4.

From TheHuddle

Vincent Taylor Aug 4 6:03pm ET

Buffalo Bills DT Vincent Taylor was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday, Aug. 4.

From TheHuddle

Devontae Booker Aug 4 6:03pm ET

Las Vegas Raiders RB Devontae Booker was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday, Aug. 4.

From TheHuddle

P.J. Hall Aug 4 5:43pm ET

Updating a previous story, Las Vegas Raiders DT P.J. Hall was released after failing his physical with the Minnesota Vikings and the trade was nullified.

From TheHuddle

Trenton Cannon Aug 4 5:23pm ET

New York Jets RB Trenton Cannon was claimed off waivers by the Carolina Panthers Tuesday, Aug. 4.

From TheHuddle

Ukeme Eligwe Aug 4 5:23pm ET

Las Vegas Raiders LB Ukeme Eligwe opted out of the 2020 season Tuesday, Aug. 4.

From TheHuddle

Mohamed Sanu Aug 4 5:13pm ET

New England Patriots WR Mohamed Sanu (undisclosed) passed his physical and was activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list Tuesday, Aug. 4, according to a source.

Fantasy Spin: Sanu won't warrant much fantasy consideration heading into the season regardless of who is under center for the Patriots. He may become a streaming option later in the year.

From TheHuddle

P.J. Hall Aug 4 5:03pm ET

Oakland Raiders DT P.J. Hall (undisclosed) failed his physical with the Minnesota Vikings Tuesday, Aug. 4, and reverts back to the Raiders. They intend to cut him.

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Cordrea Tankersley Aug 4 4:43pm ET

Miami Dolphins CB Cordrea Tankersley was waived Tuesday, Aug. 4.

From TheHuddle

Jimmy Garoppolo Aug 4 4:23pm ET

San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo provided an update on his knee Tuesday, Aug. 4, saying the difference has been night-and-day from last season and 'it's able to do whatever it needs to do.'

Fantasy Spin: Garoppolo didn't seem to be hindered too severely while guiding the Niners to the Super Bowl, and he has never provided much in terms of fantasy contributions via rushing yards. Perhaps an improved ability to scramble would help him cut back on last season's 13 interceptions. He should be viewed as a low-end QB1 or high-end QB2.

From TheHuddle

Allen Hurns Aug 4 4:13pm ET

Miami Dolphins WR Allen Hurns opted out of the 2020 season amid COVID-19 concerns Tuesday, Aug. 4, according to head coach Brian Flores.

Fantasy Spin: Hurns had been penciled in as the starter opposite DeVante Parker. Look for Preston Williams to play a larger following his surprising rookie season as an undrafted free agent.

From TheHuddle

Matthew Stafford Aug 4 4:13pm ET

Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford was removed from the COVID-19 list and placed back onto the active roster Tuesday, Aug. 4. His positive test for COVID-19 was determined to be a false-positive.

Fantasy Spin: Any concern over his status and availability for the regular season should be gone. He's a strong target as a low-end QB1.

From TheHuddle

Rashaad Penny Aug 4 2:53pm ET

Seattle Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny (knee) was placed on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list Tuesday, Aug. 4.

From TheHuddle