EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants starting offensive lineman Will Hernandez has tested positive for COVID-19, sources confirmed to ESPN, and has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list later Thursday.
A positive test was discovered on Wednesday night, according to a statement by the team, which didn't identify the player. The player and those in close contact with him were told to remain home Thursday.
In total, eight players and two coaches were not at the team's facility Thursday, and they will participate in remote meetings for the time being. The two coaches were defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson and outside linebackers coach/senior assistant Bret Bielema.
Along with Hernandez, Thomas, Gates and Fleming are all starters. Lemieux, a rookie, is the top backup to Hernandez at guard.
As of now, the Giants players sent home as close contacts have not been deemed high risk, a source told ESPN, which means they could return to work as early as Friday if things stay on track.
"The optimism on all the people who are only related to tracers is very high right now," coach Joe Judge said. "Their amount of exposure to this was really on the minimum level to be registered in this category. So that kind of eliminates them from being high-risk guys. That has been good. Most of it came through passing, sitting near each other in team meetings, things of that nature. But it has been a low amount of time. It has kept us away from some of the high-risk stuff."
Hernandez was immediately self-isolated following the positive test and contact tracing was initiated, sources told ESPN. NFL Network reported that the Giants had just four available offensive linemen who were not ordered to isolate Thursday.
The Giants play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday Night Football. An equipment staff member for the Buccaneers also has tested positive Wednesday evening and was told to stay home, the team announced Thursday. The Bucs said no other members of the organization have been identified as being at risk for exposure and it is not expected to pose an issue for Monday's game.
Judge was asked about his concern level of not being able to play as scheduled.
"We have none right now," Judge said. "We're expecting to play Monday night and that is our mindset."
The Giants have already made adjustments to their normal schedule. Their post-practice meetings will be virtual instead of in-person. Judge also mentioned using on-field face shields and masks during practice, which have not been previously required.
"We are working closely with the NFL's Chief Medical Officer regarding next protocol steps," the team said in a statement. "Quest Diagnostics Training Center will remain open, and the rest of the team will follow their normal practice and meeting schedule."
This is the Giants' first known positive test since the start of the season.
"We've been pretty good up until this point. We've been fortunate to avoid one of these tests," Judge said. "We're a long way into the season at this point, so want to make sure we definitely get through this patch. We keep our players safe and then, when we feel we're out of this patch with the league's guidance and our medical team's guidance, we'll make the best decision for the team [about future protocol]."
ESPN's Jeremy Fowler contributed to this report.