Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett stood for the national anthem for the first time all season on Thursday as the NFL honors the military as part of its Veterans Day celebrations.
Olivier Vernon, the only Giant who kneels during the anthem to protest social injustice and police brutality, took notice.
“I know he basically … did that to show nothing against the veterans and flag, so I have to respect that,” Vernon told the Daily News.
Vernon, the son of a police officer, continued to kneel last week when the Giants had a salute to military before their game against the Rams.
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Whether or not he would follow Bennet’s lead, Vernon replid, “I don’t know, we’ll see.”
Vernon is also likely to return to the field for the first time since Week 4 when he left the Giants’ game against the Buccaneers early with an ankle injury.
The 27-year-old defensive end is questionable, but had not missed a single game since entering the league in 2012. He has had to watch from the sidelines the previous four games as the season crumbled which has offered a new perspective for him.
“In my mind, I was like dang, is this how it feels to not play and it felt weird to me,” he said. “I’m just glad and I’m fortunate that it wasn’t worse than what it could have been.”
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Players kneel during the national anthem
Former Giant safety Antrel Rolle is chiming in on his old team.
Rolle, who was at the ALS Association Greater New York Chapter’s 23rd annual Lou Gehrig Sports Award dinner Thursday night, said it is hard to assess the team looking from the outside in, but he said it is evident there is a lack of effort.
“I think the coaches and players maybe aren’t on the same page right now,” Rolle said. “It doesn’t determine the lack of effort that I see shown by the players on Sundays. There was a point in time they were losing close games. Now it just seems like everything’s all out of whack.”
The Giants are going to be thin at linebacker on Sunday when they face the winless 49ers.
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B.J Goodson (ankle), Devon Kennard (quad) and Keenan Robinson (quad) are all ruled out for the game, though they get back some familiar faces.
Jonathan Casillas plans to return to the field after missing last week’s game with a neck injury while Kelvin Sheppard, who was on the Giants last season, was claimed off waivers earlier this week.
Sheppard said he has fit right in since re-joining the team.
“The transition has been great,” he said on Thursday. “It’s a great group of guys. Mostly a lot of guys I was already in there with. They’ve been helping me out, so I’m definitely fine with that.”
With CHRISTIAN RED
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