The New York Giants are not rushing rookie cornerback Corey Ballentine back after he was injured in a shooting last Sunday that killed his former college teammate and close friend, Dwane Simmons.
Initially, Giants general manager Dave Gettleman indicated Ballentine would attend rookie minicamp, but the team later walked that back and encouraged their sixth-round draft pick to stay home and heal up.
“This is a unique situation. We want him to get full closure on his end. We are sensitive to that. This is a real life situation. We want to make sure he gets full closure,” head coach Pat Shurmur told reporters on Friday. “It is May. We play in September. We want to make sure he gets done on that end what he needs to and gets the help that he needs.”
Shurmur also acknowledged that he had a personal connection to Ballentine through his son, Kansas City Chiefs rookie quarterback Kyler Shurmur, who worked out with the cornerback at EXOS.
“I am really disappointed that he was the victim of a crime. He is a great young man. We got to know him really well through the draft process. My son trained with him at EXOS, so I had some knowledge of what a great man he is,” Shurmur said. “It is very unfortunate that he was a victim of a crime. That could happen to any of us. We are here for him. He is going through the vigils and the funerals, the things that he has to go through. We are here to support him as he comes back to us. We are just here for him. Thoughts and prayers go his way.”
Additionally, Shurmur was asked if he was aware of Mike Francesa’s comment on Ballentine after the WFAN radio host had implied the sixth-round pick somehow had a poor character after being shot.
The Giants, of course, had gotten wind of Fracnesa’s foolish comments, but Shurmur refused to engaged in a war of words.
“I’m certainly aware of some of the stuff, I guess. We know most, if not, all the details. That’s really not for me to comment on,” Shurmur said.
Ballentine is expected to make a full recovery, but Shurmur cautioned that it may “take some time” before he returns.