Giants players emerged from the Quest Diagnostics Center as music played and Brian Daboll walked to the practice field with a ‘3’ pinned next to the NY on his blue Giants cap.
It appeared to be a typical Wednesday as footballs were thrown around, but this could not be Any Given Wednesday.
This was not an ordinary Wednesday in East Rutherford, Florham Park, Orchard Park, or any of the other 29 communities where NFL franchises are located.
The football players who risk limb and in some unfortunate situations life to play this game were famished for updates on Damar Hamlin, No. 3 for the Buffalo Bills, and fervently prayed for news of his sluggish recovery from a catastrophic heart attack.
The Giants struggled visibly and internally on Not Any Given Wednesday to compartmentalize playing the violent game they love and the possibility that an unimaginable tragedy, even one as random and freakish as Hamlin’s, could take the field with them on Any Given Sunday, including this Sunday against the Eagles.
Nick McCloud stated, “I’ve practiced with a torn MCL, the illness, a returning COVID, and a sprained ankle, but today’s practice was definitely the most difficult.”
McCloud, 24 years old, played with Hamlin in the Bills’ secondary. His friend was constantly on his mind. McCloud stated, “No, not at all, for real,” denying the assertion.
Brian Daboll and the Giants support Damar Hamlin by wearing hats with Hamlin’s No. 3 and the Giants’ emblem.
Robert Sabo/New York Daily News
As usual, there was no physical contact at practice on Wednesday. This will occur on Sunday. Giants players, particularly the few who played with Hamlin, will try not to think about him during a game in which if you don’t play your hardest against an opponent seeking to clinch the NFC’s No. 1 seed, you are begging for an injury.
Saquon Barkley was asked if he believed the Giants will be ready for contact and combat at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
It’s going to be difficult. I believe it is a conversation that needs to be had,” stated Barkley. “I am aware of my mental state. As a team captain and leader, I believe it would be beneficial to get the team together and ask this topic. That didn’t even enter my head.”
Barkley, age 25, has two small children. He was asked if he believed the NFL would be better off postponing Week 18 games for a week.
Barkley responded, “That’s a really good question.” “Personally, I would have to have this discussion with my family. … I’ll likely have a better answer to this question later in the week, after I’ve had time to sit down and contemplate. It’s unfortunate to say, but it’s the God-honest truth: the only thing I’ve actually done in this moment regarding the event that occurred is to think about Damar, his family, and those individuals.
Flowers are left in front of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where Damar Hamlin was in critical condition after collapsing during Monday Night Football.
“I haven’t even sat down and thought, ‘Wow, it looks like I’m truly going to join the team’ ”
All of this occurred after Senior VP of Medical Services Ronnie Barnes, team sports psychologist Dr. Lani Lawrence, and chaplain Gian Paul Gonzalez addressed the players and told them that any resources they require, whether throughout the week or on game day, will be made available to them.
“It really causes one to pause… just like whoa … “It definitely puts you on notice,” added Barkley. “I had no idea that was even a possibility on a football field. Now that you see it, it’s really insane.”
Julian Love, age 24, recently wed. Don’t assume that Hamlin hasn’t been at the center of heartfelt family discussions this week, as players, wives, and parents attempt to manage a spectrum of emotions.
Sadness, rage, bewilderment, and fear, said Love.
Julia was the high school sweetheart of Love.
“She was practically trying to comfort me that everything was fine and that this was just a freak occurrence,” Love explained.
On the high school recruiting circuit, Love met and adored Hamlin.
“You experience waves,” Love stated. While attempting to work, you attempt to conceal the item.
Occasionally, you cannot put it aside.
“I get depressed … but you keep going,” Love added.
Damar Hamlin AP
Davis Webb, who turns 28 years old this month, played alongside Hamlin. He was watching the game alongside his girlfriend’s family. After witnessing something horrifying he had never seen before, he fled quickly to his bedroom.
“Damar was on the scout team with me during my freshman season since we both played safety,” Webb explained. “It’s terrifying. It stinks regardless of who it is, but it stinks even more because he is an incredible human person. Damar is a strong man, and if anyone can survive, it will be him.”
24-year-old Isaiah Hodgins played with Hamlin.
“We are aware that it is a violent game…. Hodgins stated that thoughts such as “I won’t be able to go home and visit my family” and similar notions rarely cross one’s mind.
Therefore, they all prayed for Hamlin on Not a Random Wednesday.
“It’s tough, man,” Hodgins said. “You just have to find that mental block in your head to keep it within the lines at the moment and keep going forward.” “I’m praying for him and hope for the best for him; I’m just hoping he survives.”
Damar Hamlin is 24. The Bills will honor him during their game against the Patriots. Each NFL club should. You can be certain that they will.