The Giants have navigated around the NFL’s stringent coronavirus protocols reasonably well. They welcome back three players — offensive tackle Matt Peart, tight end Kaden Smith and receiver and punt returner Dante Pettis — for Sunday’s game in Seattle. All three spent last week on the reserve/COVID-19 list and missed the victory in Cincinnati.
Meanwhile, the Seahawks were the only NFL team without a single positive test this season — until now. Seattle placed injured defensive tackle Bryan Mone on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Saturday.
Before news of the positive test, head coach Pete Carroll lauded the leadership on his team as having “carried the message for us’’ and pointed to “a very, very strict program here in every way’’ as the main reason for the success.
“We’ve felt all along like we needed to create a bubble — even though it extended into where they personally live and all and their activities and the people they’re around and all of that,’’ Carroll said. “I think our guys, they’ve obviously done a great job of buying in. And this isn’t by just luck. These guys have worked their tails off to get this done. They’ve sacrificed.
“What I think has carried them through this is the right attitude about being tough about it and being demanding on yourself and helping one another overcome and just human nature is wanting to go the easy way. It’s been hard, and that’s what we learned. I’m proud of it, but it’s day to day. We’re trying to keep it going.’’
Carroll learned some of this the hard way. In late September, he was fined $100,000 by the league, and the Seahawks were fined $250,000, after he did not wear a mask on the sideline for a game against the Patriots.
“It was a good reminder that I just got sloppy in that instance, and I can’t afford to be,’’ Carroll said. “I can’t afford to represent that in an effort to try to do this thing better than anybody’s ever done this before. So, I needed to get my own butt kicked, and I didn’t mind that one bit. It’s part of all the stuff that we’ve been dealing with to make sure that the emphasis is right.’’
Giants’ defensive coordinator Patrick Graham is not going to say a word to WR DK Metcalf before the game. Graham is a smart guy — he went to Yale — and surely will not make the same mistake Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz did prior to Monday night’s 23-17 Seahawks victory in Philadelphia. Schwartz tried to pay Metcalf a compliment, saying from his time in Detroit with the Lions he knew first-hand how great a player Calvin Johnson was and that Metcalf reminded him of Johnson, but he is not quite there yet.
Metcalf took it as a slight and proceeded to torch the Eagles with 10 receptions for 177 yards. Graham will not make that same mistake.
“If you guys were on the field and saw me, I’m not really talking,’’ Graham said. “This is about as much talking as I do all week. I’m not really a talkative person. Before the game, I’m barely talking to our guys. I’m not one to chat with the players, that’s not me. I’m not going to talk smack, that’s not me. I’m not a big talker. I’m pretty quiet.’’
Clayton Thorson will serve as the backup quarterback to Colt McCoy, as Thorson on Saturday was elevated off the practice squad. Thorson was a 2019 fifth-round draft pick of the Eagles out of Northwestern. He has never appeared in an NFL regular season game.
DE Niko Lalos was also elevated off the practice squad. Lalos, a rookie from Dartmouth, made his NFL debut last week and had an interception in the victory over the Bengals.
QB Alex Tanney cleared COVID-19 protocols and was signed to the practice squad. Tanney is expected to make the trip to Seattle. … RB Devonta Freeman, on injured reserve, was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
The Seahawks could be short-handed on defense. Defensive end Carlos Dunlap (second on the team with four sacks) is dealing with a foot issue. … Seattle also is short-handed on the offensive line, with Brandon Shell out and Cedric Ogbuehi (calf) added to the injury report as questionable. … The Seahawks will be without starting CB Tre Flowers (hamstring), who was placed on IR. … Seattle elevated former Giants offensive tackle Chad Wheeler off their practice squad.