Giants coach Joe Judge said his players told him that Jalen Ramsey threw the first punch and Golden Tate was only defending himself.
So Judge didn’t see an “immediate need” to discipline Tate for Sunday’s postgame fight with the Rams’ corner. And a source indicated to the Daily News that NFL suspensions are not anticipated for either Tate or Ramsey, though they still could be fined.
“First off, I don’t want John Mara or Steve Tisch or anybody involved with this team to have to deal with something like this after the game,” Judge said. “This isn’t why we play the game. We have 60 minutes to beat the hell out of each other legally between the whistles. We don’t need anything extra after.
“There’s a number of things we still have to look through as a team, but based on the information I was given, and what I saw with my own eyes and what our players gave me, it didn’t sound like there was an immediate need for (disciplining Tate),” Judge added. “But we’ll look into it if there is. Obviously we’ll always take care of our players.”
Judge said he talked to several Giants players, watched some video of the incident, and also had “enough of an eye-witness standpoint for myself” after meeting Rams coach Sean McVay at midfield.
And “the account I got from a number of our players was that there was a history obviously between that, and that there was a punch thrown, and Golden was defending himself. I was told he wasn’t the one that threw the punch. And everybody involved was trying to break it up.”
Judge said after meeting McVay, “I turned around and it was kind of happening right there in front of me, so I got a quick glimpse of it right there… I can say that both our players and the Rams staff and players from what I saw with my own eyes were all in there just trying to break it up. I didn’t see everything going on in the pile, but from the accounts I was told and the information I was given and with what I saw with my own eyes, that’s what I saw was guys trying to break it up.”
Tate has not spoken to the media since the end of Sunday’s game.
Judge was adamant Monday that rookie tackle Matt Peart’s playing time was planned for the final drive of Sunday’s first half. He said he wasn’t benching starter Cam Fleming, who returned to play the whole second half, or preparing Peart to replace left tackle Andrew Thomas. Rather, this is part of Judge’s plan for acclimating young players without the benefit of exhibition games.
“We didn’t pull Cam Fleming,” Judge said. “Before the game started, we wanted to make sure we had an emphasis on getting some of these guys involved. They didn’t have a preseason, so there’s a lot of these young players that eventually are gonna have to play for us. We want to get them involved as much as we can and get them in game action. There was no pulling Cam Fleming or taking him out because something happened within the game.”
Seventh-round pick Tae Crowder had played two defensive snaps before Sunday. The inside linebacker played 33 against the Rams. Sixth-round pick Cam Brown (53%) is tied for the third-highest usage on the Giants’ special teams for the season.
Fourth-round pick Darnay Holmes continued at slot corner, logging 33 more snaps. First-rounder Andrew Thomas continues starting and playing left tackle. Peart played a season-high 12 snaps Sunday, and fifth-round pick Shane Lemieux logged his first NFL rep as a fullback.
Judge likes how his young players are responding and growing into roles.
“I’m pleased with the progress Tae’s making,” Judge said of Crowder, who nearly intercepted the Rams’ Jared Goff at the start of the second half. “I think we’ve got a lot of young guys right now on the roster who are really starting to come around. You can kinda see a difference in their eyes, which is kind of natural for them to have after some experience on the field.
“They’re acclimating a little bit to not only the speed of the game on the field but the speed of the game in the classroom and how you have to carry it from the classroom to practice,” the coach added. “And it’s kinda slowing down for them a little bit. I’m pleased with the way Tae and Cam Brown and a lot of the young guys are coming around and making progress.”
For the second straight week, a quarterback coming off a win over the Giants was benched on Sunday. In Week 3, Bears QB Mitch Trubisky was benched for Nick Foles in Atlanta, one week after Trubisky beat the Giants in Chicago, 17-13. And in Week 4, Niners backup Nick Mullens was benched for C.J. Beathard, one week after beating the Giants in New Jersey, 36-9.
Corner Madre Harper made a touchdown-saving tackle on kickoff coverage early in Sunday’s fourth quarter in his Giants debut. The Giants signed Harper off the Raiders’ practice squad last week to upgrade at corner. Harper played only five snaps against the Rams: two on defense and three on special teams. But his excellent tracking and tackle of Rams returner Raymond Calais saved a score and kept the Giants within 10-9 late in Sunday’s loss.
He also ended up in the thick of the postgame fight started by Ramsey and Tate, trying to break it up. So it was an eventful first game as a Giant for Harper.
There are six Giants players who have played every single snap on their respective unit so far this season: four on offense and two on defense. QB Daniel Jones, left guard Will Hernandez, center Nick Gates and right guard Kevin Zeitler have played all 253 snaps on offense. Corner James Bradberry and linebacker Blake Martinez have played all 263 snaps on defense.
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