Thursday, October 16, 2014

Worried Giants players briefed on Ebola breakout before trip to Dallas: Report

The Ebola outbreak is big news in Dallas, and before the New York Giants head to that city this weekend for their key NFC East matchup with the Cowboys, the team was briefed about the deadly disease after some players expressed concern about making the trip.

Giants senior vice president of communications Pat Hanlon confirmed that players and staff received an electronic briefing Wednesday morning which gave them background on the virus that has killed one man in Dallas and has infected two healthcare workers in the city. The title of the document: "Ebola: Basic Facts to Answer Common Questions."

"Our athletic trainers and team physicians have been briefed on the scope of the Ebola virus disease," Hanlon said. "We have distributed a fact sheet to our employees and distributed similar information to our players electronically this morning."

Giants center J.D. Walton, a native of Allen, Texas, about 40 minutes north of Dallas, has a large contingent of family and friends expected to attend Sunday's game at A&T Stadium. His wife and 1-year-old child might not make the trip. They may stay back in New Jersey because of the Ebola scare.

"I'm not even sure if I'm going home next week during the bye," Walton said.

Walton is not alone in his thinking after Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital — where an Ebola patient died and two nurses became infected — has apologized for mistakes made when they admittedly mishandled the case of Thomas Eric Duncan, the Ebola patient who was originally sent home even after he had a fever and said he was from Liberia.

"I think guys might think twice if they were planning to bring their wives or their families with them on a trip like this, because why take a chance?" cornerback Prince Amukamara told "But I think the team is doing a good job making sure we have all of the information we need."

The team is scheduled to leave on Saturday and return late Sunday night.

Quarterback Eli Manning made it sound like any other road trip.

"No, I don't worry about myself or the team," he said. "I think what we're doing, where we're staying, I think we'll be OK."

The Cowboys coach, Jason Garrett, isn't all that concerned with the Ebola outbreak in the Dallas area either.

"Really haven't [addressed it with the team], to be honest with you," Garrett told reporters during a conference call on Wednesday. "I don't think it's directly affected us, so it has not been something we addressed directly with our players."

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