One of the dangers for the teams which still go away to training camp is listening to players gripe about sleeping in unfamiliar beds.
The Giants have taken it a step further, blaming the mattresses at the UAlbany for creating a wave of back injuries.
“Everybody’s been complaining about their back because the beds in the dorms are fairly hard,” defensive tackle Linval Joseph told Mike Garafolo of the Newark Star-Ledger (who deserves a hats-off for making the appropriate Godfather reference, which I shamelessly ripped off for a headline). “My back’s been hurting, too. Like I said, I think it’s just the bed.”
Asked directly if he thinks the mattresses are the cause of all the injuries, Joseph said: “Yes, I really do.”
Marvin Austin was taken back to New York to get his back checked out, while fellow defensive tackle Martin Parker needs surgery for a herniated disc (which can’t possibly be blamed on a bed he sleeps in for three weeks). Also, offensive tackles Will Beatty and James Brewer have been limited in practice with back tightness.
Tight end Martellus Bennett brought it up as well, when asked about being ready to break camp.
“We’re big humans. Every bed is small,” Bennett said. “You can’t put a damn dinosaur in a twin-sized bed. . . . A normal-sized human jumps into a regular-sized bed and it fits perfectly. Large, big humans jump in a regular-sized bed, the bed’s too small.
“My back doesn’t hurt. My back feels great. I have a great back.”
He might, but enough Giants don’t that it’s worth re-thinking the sleeping conditions for next year. So if there’s a furniture store in Albany that specializes in dinosaur-sized mattresses, Giants GM Jerry Reese will be awaiting your call.