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BABY STEPS – GIANTS BEGIN REOPENING TEAM FACILITY…
The New York Giants announced on Wednesday that the team has “started a slow, steady reopening” of the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey “in accordance with the protocols of the State of New Jersey and the NFL.” The facility had been closed since mid-March due to the COVID-19 situation.
According to a Giants press release, approximately 15-20 team officials returned to the facility on Wednesday, including co-owner John Mara and General Manager Dave Gettleman as well as some football, business, operations, and medical staff. No coaches have yet returned.
The press release continues: “The number of employees in the facility will continue to increase slowly over the course of the next couple weeks with more business people filtering in. For the time being, those employees who can continue to work from home will do so.”
“We have been working diligently over the last couple months to prepare for coming back to the facility, the Quest Diagnostics Training Center,” said Senior Vice president of Medical Services Ronnie Barnes. “The primary focus has been to return our employees safely. And so everything that we have been doing has been related to the safety of our employees and how we can get back to work as safely as possible.
“We’re all happy to be back. We’ve been waiting for a long time. The Giants’ COVID-19 Task Force has been working hard to make this facility as safe as possible. We’ve made a lot of changes; those are all for (employees’) safety and they’re very important. We are following the CDC guidelines, the guidelines from the NFL and guidelines from the National Institute of Health, as well as the state’s protocols.”
DEANDRE BAKER UPDATE…
As previously reported, New York Giants cornerback Deandre Baker was charged last month with four counts of armed robbery and four counts of armed aggravated assault with a firearm from an incident that allegedly took place at a house party in Miramar, Florida. The incident was allegedly sparked by a game of dice that involved high-stakes gambling and allegedly resulted in Baker robbing party guests at gunpoint. Baker was released on bond after he turned himself into police authorities.
Since the incident, the New York Giants told Baker to stay away from team offseason virtual meetings and concentrate on his ongoing legal situation.
In May, Baker’s attorneys claimed Baker was the victim of a shakedown. Now one of his attorneys believes Baker will soon be cleared of all charges. “I think we’ve got the case won, to be honest with you,” Baker’s attorney told SNY. “I think it’s only a matter of time…As soon this dismissal goes (through), he’s going to head back to Jersey and start practicing. If it becomes a charge, then the NFL will suspend him. So the Giants are really just playing it cool right now, which is the right thing to do. Just do nothing until the state makes a decision on what they’re going to do.”
However, even if Baker is legally cleared, the NFL could punish Baker for violating the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy.
“Hopefully it’s a wake-up call for the young kid,” said Baker’s attorney. “That’s what he needed.”
The Giants drafted Baker in the 1st round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Baker had an up-and-down rookie season for the Giants. He started 15 of the 16 games he played in, receiving 87 percent of defensive snaps, and finishing the year with 61 tackles and 8 pass defenses. He did not intercept a pass.
GIANTS.COM PLAYER BREAKDOWNS…
Giants.com has produced a number of informative players breakdowns on the New York Giants 2020 NFL Draft class:
- Film Room: Breaking Down Andrew Thomas’ College Tape (Video)
- Film Room: Breaking Down Matt Peart’s College Tape (Video)
- Film Room: Shaun O’Hara Breaks Down Shane Lemieux’s College Tape (Video)
- Film Study: First-round pick Andrew Thomas
- Film Study: Xavier McKinney is an X-Factor
- Film Study: OT Matt Peart shows potential
- Film Study: Shane Lemieux epitomizes ‘hog molly’
- Film Study: LB Cam Brown has length & athleticism
- Film Study: LB Carter Coughlin has impressive range
- Film Study: LB TJ Brunson is an aggressive, downhill player
- The Plaxico Burress shooting fiasco torments Giants greats by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post