Giants' Will Hernandez opens up on return from COVID-19/reserve list

Garrett Stepien
·2 min read
Will Hernandez runs onto field
Will Hernandez runs onto field

Giants offensive guard Will Hernandez missed two weeks after a positive test landed him on the COVID-19/reserve list, but he made his way back Sunday. In a 27-17 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, Hernandez played 12 offensive snaps.

"The training staff was being very careful with me, especially dealing with a virus that we know little about," Hernandez said Wednesday. "They told me from the beginning that they were going to ease me into this. They didn't know exactly how much it was going to be, what I was going to play, how much.

"But at the end of the day here, we have to remember this is a team. This is about the team, not about Will Hernandez. If I wasn't 100% ready to go coming back from this, then what's best for the team here? We just need to remember that. Coming back from two weeks of doing nothing -- and not by choice, but doing nothing -- you have to kind of think about is he ready to just get back in there and play?

"But I was always ready to go, I was always ready to play. I wanted to play, obviously. You guys know me by now. But at the end of the day, I'm just going to follow what the coaches are telling me and what the medical staff says."

The 6-foot-2, 327-pound Hernandez said his COVID-19 experience was "weird" but he is "ready to roll" after recovering from a "standard sickness."

Hernandez, a third-year pro who started in all 39 of his possible games until the COVID-19 absence, gets a bye week to keep easing back before a 1 p.m. ET game next Sunday, Nov. 29, at the Cincinnati Bengals (2-6-1).

"What I saw when he went in the game is a guy who was ready," said head coach Joe Judge. "I saw, when Will went in there -- he was mentally, physically and emotionally ready to go. Obviously, two weeks off from a game, it's a lot to ask anyone to jump right back in the swing of things and go through an entire game. When we needed him, he came through. He played well, he played tough. That's just kind of Will's personality.

"Coming out at the end of the game right there. He kind of goes in as the enforcer when we needed him right there. I was pleased to see Will at the game. It's good to have him back in the building. He's always a dude that makes everyone smile when he's around. It's just good to have him back with us."