New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning celebrated his 36th birthday Tuesday preparing for Sunday’s Wild Card showdown with the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. He did take the time to give the media a gift: another example of his incomparable wit.
Wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz, Roger Lewis, and Sterling Shepard boarded a private jet to Miami after Sunday’s 19-10 regular season finale win over the Washington Redskins.
The Giants receiving corps were all over social media Monday. They appeared topless on a yacht and partying in a nightclub with a group of celebrities that included Justin Bieber, Trey Songz, Lil Wayne, Fabolous, 2 Chainz, Jamie Foxx, Tristan Thompson, Khloe Kardashian, Adrien Brody, and Johnny Manziel.
Manning answered as only he could when asked about his receivers’ off day.
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“As a team, we kind of always pride ourselves on being well prepared, so when I saw some of those pictures, I was a little disappointed because they obviously didn’t pack accordingly,” Manning said. “They didn’t have any shirts, all long pants, no shorts, flip-flops, or anything. So, I was disappointed in their packing and not being prepared for that situation.”
Manning didn’t stop there. “If guys want to get away for the day, I think they were a little low on the vitamin D and wanted to get some sunshine, get their vitamin D up to stay healthy for the cold weather in Green Bay.”
The receiving corps taking off for Miami on their off day was an issue for many. It was a non-issue for Manning, who got off one additional quip.
“I was telling people I’m the one who took the picture,” he said. “They just wouldn’t let me in with my shirt off.”
This is the sort of thing that would’ve drove former head coach Tom Coughlin absolutely insane. Current head coach Ben McAdoo is not like Coughlin. McAdoo reiterated that the players were off Monday when asked about his receivers’ Miami trip.
Beckham, Cruz, Lewis, and Shepard were all at the team’s facilities Tuesday getting ready for the Wild Card game.
“Those guys come out to practice and are prepared for everything that we do,” Manning said. “So, nothing has changed.”
Linebacker and defensive captain Jonathan Casillas summed up the feelings of the Giants’ locker room.
“To be honest, it was an off day. They had the luxury of going to another state to enjoy and celebrate. We just made the playoffs. There is no one saying we cannot travel somewhere,” he said. “And I’m pretty sure somebody else, there were some other people, that were up at the same time just in a different state.”
“It just sucks that those guys get so much attention, I guess, for negative things. I don’t see anything wrong with it. They didn’t break any rules.
Casillas channeled his inner Manning and offered a quip of his own.
“I wouldn’t do it. But everybody is different. If I got an invite, you know, then maybe,” he said. “But I didn’t get an invite. I like Justin Bieber. It is what it is. Those guys were in at work and ready to go and full of energy. So touché to them.”