Before their OTA on Tuesday, the Giants were called into an unexpected team meeting by head coach Pat Shurmur. Players looked at one another wondering what the meeting was for.
Shurmur had to break the news to his squad that Giants GM Dave Gettleman has been diagnosed with lymphoma, and he would be battling the cancer as soon as possible.
The news left the room speechless as everyone was shocked to hear the sad news.
"Obviously we were a little shocked because no one really knew," Saquon Barkley told NJ.com's Ryan Dunleavy. "We came together as a team, and coach kind of said he is in high spirits, he is getting better, he is going to fight this thing, and we are going to be there for him and pray for him."
For Barkley, Gettleman was one of the main reasons he is a Giant today as he decided to go with the versatile running back instead of taking a top quarterback prospect.
"He is part of the reason why I'm here, why I got drafted to the New York Giants," Barkley said. "It sucks to hear that for someone you care about, but at the same time you know the type of person he is and it sounds like he is in very high spirits. He knows for sure that everyone on the team has his back. We're there for him. We're going to continue to love him and pray for him."
Offensive guard Will Hernandez was the Giants' second-rounder this season, and he shared the same feelings as Barkley in that Gettleman was the guy that wrote his name on the draft card.
"It was horrible," Hernandez said. "The fact that it is somebody who just recently became so close and so dear to me was even worse. From the short time I've known Gettleman, he is strong.
"He always has a positive attitude. He's the reason why I'm here, so of course I'm going to be behind him 100 percent and supporting him in any way I can."
Many players reached out to Gettleman personally to offer their support, including backup QB Davis Webb. While attending the David Tyree Charity Bowl on Wednesday night, he expressed his confidence that Gettleman will beat his cancer.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with him," Webb said. "He is one of the leaders of our organization. A lot of us wouldn't be here without him. We're wishing him a speedy recovery. I know he's going to beat it and can't wait to get him back in the facility."
Sterling Shepard, who co-hosted the event, said the news was "tough" to hear. However, he also showed his faith in Gettleman's situation.
"It was tough. But (Gettleman) is a strong guy, just from what I know being around him these last few months," Shepard said. "He'll beat it. We have faith in that. Coach told us that the doctors are very confident and he's confident, so that ultimately makes us confident."