Giants quarterback Daniel Jones healthy, ready for workouts
PALM BEACH, FLA. — Good news for Daniel Jones: The Giants’ fourth-year quarterback, who missed the final six games of the 2021 season with a neck injury, is fully healed and ready to resume regular workouts.
“He should be ready to go,” first-year coach Brian Daboll said Tuesday at the NFL’s annual spring meetings.
Jones suffered a sprained neck in a 13-7 win over the Eagles on Nov. 28, and while he finished the game, he was held out the remainder of the season because he hadn’t completely recovered from the injury. Jones avoided surgery and progressed to the point where Daboll expects him to return when Giants players are permitted to begin off-season workouts on Monday.
It’s a pivotal time for Daboll to be able to better evaluate Jones, especially with a May 2 deadline to pick up Jones’ fifth-year option. There have been reports that the team was not prepared to exercise the option and thereby keep him under contract through the 2023 season. But general manager Joe Schoen said Monday that the team had not made a final decision, and that the upcoming workouts might factor into the equation.
Daboll said he’s looking forward to working with Jones, as well as newly signed backup Tyrod Taylor, when the team gets back on the field. It’s clear that Jones is the starter, with Taylor available if Jones suffers additional injuries.
“I think Daniel’s got good athleticism, he’s made some really good throws,” Daboll said. “I’m sure there’s plays he wants back, just like everybody else. I think going into right now, we’ve got it set the way we want it [on the depth chart]. We forge ahead, we teach it accordingly, and we have confidence in the players we have.”
Jones was the No. 6 overall pick and had a promising rookie season in 2019, replacing Eli Manning in the third game and finishing with 24 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions. But he has had a combined 21 touchdown passes and 17 interceptions the last two seasons. Jones addressed a significant fumbling problem from 2019-20 and showed improvement last year before being hurt.
“I don't make excuses for anybody, starting with me, but I think you really have to go back and dive into the cause of some of the turnovers,” Daboll said. “Some are decision-making turnovers where we can try to fix. Some are [that] the receivers fell down or there's a tipped ball. Some are really great plays by the defense. In terms of the interceptions and then in terms of the fumbles, of why we're fumbling it, how we're fumbling it, you do drill work to try to improve that. To me, the most important thing come Monday is a fresh start for everybody.”
That includes fifth-year running back Saquon Barkley, who has been the subject of trade speculation. A day after Schoen said he spoke to Barkley to clarify remarks he made at the scouting combine that were interpreted by some to mean the Giants were shopping Barkley, Daboll said he had separate discussions with the running back.
“When things come out, I try to stay on top of it,” Daboll said. “They’re people first. You can say whatever you want, that people are writing stuff, reporting stuff. I think it’s important to show a little empathy to the guys in the situations that they’re in. I know it’s a tough business, but it’s a people business, too. The more up front and transparent you can be, even when things are being said, there are a million things being said. Some are probably true, some are probably not true. I like being transparent with these guys and letting them know where I stand. Showing empathy goes a long way.”
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