Dave Gettleman confident he'll return to job full time this season

ByJordan Raanan via ESPN logo
Saturday, July 28, 2018

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. --New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman said Friday that his cancer is in complete remission.

Gettleman, who made his first public comments since announcing he was diagnosed with aggressive lymphoma in early June,spoke to reporters after taking in a training camp practice from a shaded area far from the field. He said he is feeling good and expressed gratitude to everyone who had reached out to support him.

Gettleman has undergone four rounds of chemotherapy and has three more remaining. That hasn't stopped him from being in the office Tuesday through Friday this week. He also said he expects to attend training camp practices this weekend.

"I feel really good. Sometimes I feel like I'm apologizing for that," Gettleman said. "But you know, my energy is good. I'm not telling you, chemo ain't fun. There has been a couple days where, oof, it rocks your world. ... It's not fun."

Gettleman said he almost couldn't believe it when his doctors at Hackensack University Medical Center told him he was in remission.

"Well, you know, what was really weird was that I didn't quite understand it," Gettleman said. "Here I am thinking I'm pretty smart. When he told me, 'You're in complete remission,' it was like, it was kind of weird."

Though his doctors told him there is more work to be done, Gettleman said he is happy with what has been accomplished so far.

Gettleman, who was hired as the Giants' general manager late last year, has remained involved with the team throughout his treatments. He even has spoken to star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. about his contract situation and intends to head those negotiations, which owner John Mara said Thursday will begin sooner rather than later.

The treatment process does have its side effects. Gettleman was shuttled to his news conference in a cart and has lost his hair because of the chemotherapy. He will miss the Giants' joint practices and the preseason game against the Detroit Lions in early August, but he said he intends to eventually return in a full-time role.

"It'll happen," Gettleman said. "It'll happen."

Assistant general manager Kevin Abrams has been among those to help fill in the gaps. Each round of chemotherapy includes five days in the hospital.

Gettleman said he is in good spirits mentally and spiritually.

"I'm blessed," he said. "I feel good. I feel energetic. This is a week I don't have chemo in the hospital."

Gettleman raved about the support he has received from Giants ownership and within the building. He even gave a speech to the team Wednesday.

A longtime personnel man with the Giants before becoming the general manager of the Carolina Panthers in 2013, Gettleman said his message to the players concentrated mostly on football and the concept of being a team. He explained that individuals win games, but teams win championships.

Gettleman should know: He has been a part of seven Super Bowl teams.

He also provided an update on his ongoing battle. The Giants did as well earlier this week.

"Dave is doing great," Mara said Thursday. "He's doing well. I don't think I've ever been around a more upbeat person in my life, particularly going through what he's going through. But he's very optimistic about his recovery and about his ability to work this year, and you know, we're very excited about that. It's the best news we've had in a long time."