When a guard or a cornerback gets injured in the NFL, he generally is swapped out for another guard or cornerback. But when it’s a quarterback who is hurt and, like the Giants’ Daniel Jones, faces the possibility of missing a game or two, everyone wants in on the plan to replace him.
"There is always a list of guys who want to be in your ear and remind you that they played quarterback in high school," coach Joe Judge said Monday. "I remind them that I did the same thing and I’m also not playing on Sunday."
The person with the best chance to play is the Giants’ actual backup quarterback, 10-year veteran Colt McCoy. He stepped in for Jones on Sunday to finish off the win over the Bengals. If Jones is unable to play this Sunday in Seattle, McCoy likely will get his first start as a Giant.
"That was a tough thing coming in cold off the sideline, but he came in and did some really nice things for us, made some tough throws in tough situations and made some good runs," Judge said. "He’s a vet. He has a lot of experience. He goes out there with a good amount of savvy to manage the game."
Clayton Thorson, the team’s third-string quarterback, has been on the practice squad most of this season. He was on Dallas’ practice squad last year, so he has familiarity with offensive coordinator Jason Garrett’s system. He never has played in an NFL game.
Judge said the Giants also will look into adding another quarterback. One who was with the team in training camp is veteran free agent Alex Tanney. He — or any addition — would have to clear COVID-19 protocols before being signed or even practicing with the team.
Because of what happened to the Broncos this weekend, with their entire quarterback room placed on reserve/ COVID-19, Judge said the Giants have explored the idea of having an emergency quarterback kept separate from the rest of the team. If they bring one in, though, Judge said he would prefer he spend time with his new teammates rather than be locked away in storage for an emergency.
McCoy has been the Giants’ backup quarterback since before the start of training camp. He even helped Jones organize an informal offseason passing camp with receivers in Texas during the summer. Judge touted his contributions on the scout teams this season.
"He’s a guy who can make all the throws, so I definitely have the utmost confidence in him," safety Jabrill Peppers said of McCoy’s performances against the starting defense in those practices. "He does a lot of things to help us prepare for what we see on Sundays."
This Sunday, it might be McCoy whom everyone sees.
"He’s going to step in and do his thing, and that’s the world we’re living in right now," wide receiver Sterling Shepard said. "He’s played this game for a long time, so my confidence is through the roof."
Notes & quotes: Judge said LB Kyler Fackrell, who left Sunday’s game with an injured calf, will test it in practices this week to see if he can play. Special teams captain Nate Ebner left the game early with a knee injury but Judge said he is expected back by Sunday . . . TE Kaden Smith, OT Matt Peart and WR Dante Pettis are in the "ramp-up" period for coming off reserve/COVID-19 and could be activated by the end of the week . . . Not only were the Giants rooting for the Seahawks to beat the Eagles on Monday night — Seattle did win, which kept the Giants tied for first place in the NFC East — but they also were curious to watch the Seahawks, as the Giants will play in Seattle on Sunday. With coaches and players working from home Monday and Tuesday because of league-wide COVID-19 restrictions, Judge said, "We’ll be able to sit down, we’re watching Monday Night Football, but you’re actually working ahead. It’s not a bad changeup and a break in how we’re doing it."