The last thing Giants coach Tom Coughlin told his players on the final day of the team’s mandatory minicamp was to be safe, and stay out of the headlines. It seemed a serious note of caution given the light atmosphere in the locker room on the final day of drills, and players wasted no time gathering their belongings and heading out.
Those words don’t seem so misplaced in light of a serious car accident that has doctors reportedly fighting to save rookie Chad Jones' leg. The team is gathering information, but players are sending out wishes and prayers for Jones via Twitter.
“Thoughts n prayers go out to my new teammate chad jones,” Steve Smith wrote on his account.
“Pray for my teammate,” wrote Terrell Thomas.
“Just waking up from my nap and reading about Chad (Jones) :-( Our prayers are with him and his family!” wrote Sanya Richardson, the Olympic runner married to Aaron Ross.
Jones was to attend the rookie symposium this weekend in Carlsbad, Calif., and NFL Players Association assistant director of external affairs George Atallah said, “On the eve of the Rookie Symposium in California, NYG rookie Chad Jones fights for his life. Send thoughts and prayers.”
When Coughlin said what he did about being safe, it was in the wake of a motorcycle accident that injured Mathias Kiwanuka's brother. Although Coughlin didn’t specifically mention that, it was part of the subtext.
“What you talk about here is when you make a choice make sure it is in the best interest of you and your family,” Coughlin said that day. “And always make sure that whatever you decide to do, don’t do anything that you wouldn’t be proud of if it was on the front page.”
Just a few seconds later Coughlin was asked about the rookies, and he mentioned Jones specifically.
“I think right at the end of the OTA's he was starting to emerge and doing things very well on special teams and in the secondary,” Coughlin said.
Today, plenty of Giants and NFL officials are hoping Jones gets back on the field at the team’s practice facility, and that doctors can save his leg.
And his professional career.