The Giants have thus far managed to keep the COVID-19 virus out of their building. But now they face a road trip to Chicago for their Week-2 matchup against the Bears, a trip that will potentially expose them to the virus and conditions beyond their control.
The Giants have followed the health and safety protocols put in place by the NFL and their own in-house medical team, so there’s no reason to think that hitting the road will be any different. Still, they’re about to enter uncharted waters that include a list of new restrictions team travel restrictions that will change team travel.
The league’s travel protocols include limiting ground transportation to 50% capacity, leaving at least one open seat between passengers on the plane, and heavy restrictions on players making contact with anyone outside of their traveling party while in a visiting city.
The players and staff will also have wear masks on the team charter, the busses, and meeting rooms, and each player will have his own hotel room.
According to Judge, a big key will be proper hydration, which could be a challenge given the necessity of a mask.
“Anytime you have a mask on it obviously slows down your hydration but when you’re on a plane you naturally dehydrate from the air pressure and the way it affects your cells and the moisture in your cells,” Judge said.
“So we got to make sure we do a really good job traveling with hydrating on the plane even though we have masks on so we got to be conscious of that.”
Outside of the hydration issue, Judge expressed confidence in the logistics and is more concerned about sticking to the schedule that comes with the trip.
“I don’t have a lot of concerns about the actual logistics of our team traveling,” he said. “It’s more about just fitting our schedule to make sure with the testing, boarding the busses, getting on the plane, those are the small things that factor in.”
Judge’s optimism lies in a mini dress rehearsal of sorts the team held last week before their Monday night game against Pittsburgh. Although the Giants were the home team, they were required to stay in a hotel the night before per league protocols.
“We’re in the hotel all night together doing meetings and hanging out. Then the next day, we’re there together doing walkthroughs. Really the home game last week kind of prepped us a little bit for the away week because of the new rules.”