The good news for Daniel Jones: The neck injury that has caused him to miss three straight games and will keep him out for the final three eventually will heal and allow him to play again. No need for surgery, just more rest and rehabilitation.
The good news for the Giants: After showing decent progress before the injury, Jones still can be a part of the team’s plans.
The reality for the Giants: They need to find additional help at quarterback. And they must do so long before the start of next season.
Regardless of who’s the general manager in 2022. And regardless of any coaching change.
On the same day the Giants placed Jones on injured reserve and thus ruled him out for the rest of the season, coach Joe Judge said Jones still is the right man for the job and that playing next season does not mean risking reinjury. Judge said Monday that he has "seen enough growth from Daniel to tell us that he’s a guy we want to go ahead and play with."
Though he wouldn’t get into specifics about whether the team will exercise its fifth-year option on Jones in the spring — thereby keeping him under contract through the 2023 season — Judge made it clear that he believes in Jones.
Whether the team still believes in Judge and general manager Dave Gettleman remains to be seen.
Gettleman, who has presided over four straight losing seasons and has failed to build the roster into a playoff-worthy group, is almost surely out.
The most likely scenario: The 70-year-old announces his retirement after the season. If he declines that option, the only other choice is for president and co-owner John Mara to fire him, because his body of work has been woeful.
Judge remains a wild card because Mara would prefer not to move on from a coach after two years for a third straight time. But there is a case to be made that Judge, 4-10 this season and 10-20 since taking the job in 2020, is not the right man.
He promised a team that would represent the grit and toughness of the New York metropolitan area, but the team’s performance has simply not been up to par. And the fans whom Judge has vowed to represent are showing up less and less to games. See Sunday’s Dallas-heavy crowd for the Giants’ 21-6 loss as an example.
But hey, at least the Giants had a giveaway of a medium-size Pepsi to patrons on hand.
(Insert eyeroll emoji here.)
Perhaps having Jones in and not Mike Glennon might have made it a closer game. Or perhaps not; with Jones, the offense averaged less than 20 points. Not all his fault, for sure. His offensive line isn’t so hot, and much of his receiving corps has been hurt.
It is fine to have Jones back in 2022, but it also is a must that the Giants bolster the position. They likely will have two top-10 picks in next year’s draft, and they should not hesitate to use one of them on a quarterback if they are sold on him. It’s not considered a quality class, but it’s still early in the process. And if there is a quarterback lower down who has developmental possibilities, then consider it. Build the position.
This is not the time to give Jones carte blanche, because we have seen enough to know that he is not elite and doesn’t have the talent to get to that level in the coming years.
Gettleman was criticized for overdrafting Jones at No. 6 overall, and the fact that the quarterback is 12-25 with an 84.3 rating in his time as the starter shows that criticism is warranted.
He can be a serviceable player and, with the right talent around him, can be a playoff-caliber quarterback — but not a championship-caliber quarterback. Besides, this team is way more than a quarterback away from being a contender, which is why I contend they shouldn’t go after Russell Wilson if he’s on the market. It will cost too much draft capital, and the Giants are too squeezed with the salary cap to afford a $200 million (or more) deal.
That said, it’s time for the Giants to adhere to the Ron Wolf school of quarterback acquisition. The Hall of Fame GM, who built the Packers into champions, contended you should draft at least one quarterback every year even if you don’t need one. It’s a smart way of doing business at the most important position in sports, and the Giants need to live by that credo.
It’s good news that Jones still can be in their plans.
But it would be a fool’s errand not to try to find another quarterback.