The Giants are relieved to leave behind a rough week that strained their sense of normalcy.
They practiced Thursday with only four available offensive linemen — the others sent home as a precaution after left guard Will Hernandez tested positive for COVID-19. That meant Eric Tomlinson, a tight end, had to line up at right tackle, and defensive linemen had to step in as offensive linemen on the scout team.
It was no way to prepare for one of the NFL’s best teams, but that’s what the Giants had to do leading into Monday night’s game against the Buccaneers.
“It’s a year I’m going to remember, for sure,” veteran safety Logan Ryan said. “Everybody is going to remember this. Everyone has to adjust in every walk of life. That comes to NFL players. That comes to NFL practice. That’s definitely been an adjustment with a lot of things. You know you have to take it for what it is. This is what we signed up for. I didn’t opt out, I signed up to play. I knew there was going to be some curveballs in there.
“I think that [coach] Joe [Judge] has been extremely flexible. I think the Giants have done a great job handling everything the best they can. We just have to go with what the NFL protocol is. Whatever they tell us is what we have to do, is what we’ve done. We’re not the first team to go through this, we won’t be the last. It’s definitely going to be a year I remember.”
The Giants will not have all hands on deck going against the high-scoring Bucs. CB Ryan Lewis was added to the injury report on Sunday with a hamstring issue and is doubtful to play. A return by rookie CB Darnay Holmes (neck) is expected, which should help, although Holmes is primarily a slot corner. With Lewis likely unavailable, the options are Corey Ballentine or Isaac Yiadom — who both failed their previous starting assignments — or Madre Harper.
Daniel Jones made his first NFL start against the Bucs — a very different Bucs team than the one he sees at MetLife Stadium. Jones in Week 3 last season, replacing benched Eli Manning, threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more, leading the Giants back from an 18-point deficit for a 32-31 victory in Tampa.
“We’ve gone back and watched that game,’’ Jones said. “I think we can take certain things from it here and there. But they are a different defense. They’re calling it a little bit different and doing a couple different things. We’ll have to prepare for that. But yeah, I think last year’s tape and some of the notes from last year are definitely helpful going in.’’
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