NFL

The New York Giants Are Potentially Facing a Big COVID-19 Problem

The New York Giants are not a very good team this season. However, they have two players that are viewed as the cornerstones of the franchise — quarterback Daniel Jones and running back Saquon Barkley. Those two players, though, could actually be causing some trouble for the Giants right now, as New York is potentially facing a COVID-19 issue involving both of them.

Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley are the future of the New York Giants

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In the past four seasons, the New York Giants have been one of the worst teams in the NFL. They have really been one of the worst teams since 2013, though, as the Giants have missed the playoffs in every season but one since 2012. Additionally, since 2013, they have only won more than seven games once.

From 2017 through 2019, the Giants have only gone 3-13, 5-11, and 4-12. So far in 2020, they are only 1-6. However, they do have two players that are viewed as the franchise’s future, Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley.

Jones went to the Giants with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft. This came after he had a decent 2018 season in college at Duke, where he threw for 2,674 yards, 22 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. He then had a pretty successful rookie season in 2019 with the Giants, throwing for 3,027 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. However, this season he has not been very good, as he has just thrown for 1,410 yards, five touchdowns, and seven interceptions.

Barkley, on the other hand, was one of the best running backs in the country in college at Penn State. He ran for over 1,000 yards each season from 2015 through 2017. He also had 1,903 total yards from scrimmage in 2017, to go with 21 touchdowns. This led to him finishing fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting.

The Giants then selected Barkley with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft. He then had a good rookie season, as he ran for 1,307 yards and 11 touchdowns, and caught 91 passes for 721 yards and four touchdowns. Those numbers ultimately led to him leading the league in yards from scrimmage too. Barkley then missed three games in 2019 but still played well, as he had 1,003 rushing yards and six touchdowns.

However, this season, Barkley only appeared in two games, as he tore his ACL in the Giants’ Week 2 game against the Chicago Bears.

The Giants’ two star players reportedly partied without masks

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A video recently surfaced of Jones and Barkley out at a bar not practicing social distancing and not wearing masks.

According to the New York Post, Jones, Barkley, a few of their teammates, and some friends reportedly went to dinner in a private room of a restaurant on Friday. The group then reportedly got an invite to a private bar closed to the public.

A video of them at that bar then surfaced, as someone named DJ Lugghead posted it to Instagram. Jones was seen taking a sip of a drink handed to him by a woman in a video. Additionally, in another video, there was a man resembling Barkley riding a bike in the street. Barkley is set to undergo surgery for his torn ACL next week.

The DJ told the New York Post that the video was from last October, not Friday. However, the Post reported that that is not true.

Will the Giants or the NFL punish Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley?

The New York Giants are not a good team this year. Now, the team is potentially facing a big COVID-19 problem involving two star players.
New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones calls out before a play in the second half during a game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 22, 2020. | Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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The Giants are reportedly aware of the videos that have surfaced.

“We are looking into the nature and context of what is on the video,” the team said in a statement, according to ESPN.

ESPN reported that sources have said that team discipline is unlikely. The NFL could still choose to discipline them, though. The league fined Las Vegas Raider players earlier this season for breaking COVID-19 protocols at a public charity event.

It will be interesting to see how this situation is handled. The Giants certainly have a problem on their hands, though. Whether they actually broke protocol or not, this is not a good look for a team that is 1-6 on the season.

Stats courtesy of Sports Reference and Pro Football Reference