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Second lower leg injury for Daniel Jones could sideline him vs. Browns on 'Sunday Night Football'

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones after being sacked by

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones after being sacked by linebacker Dennis Gardeck of the Arizona Cardinals in the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium on December 13, 2020. Credit: Getty Images/Mike Stobe

The Giants are back to waiting and seeing with Daniel Jones, only this time it’s not just his strained hamstring that is cause for concern.

Joe Judge said on Wednesday that Jones suffered a "lower leg" injury in the game against the Cardinals on Sunday, a separate issue from the right hamstring that had sidelined him in the previous game and also clearly limited his mobility upon his return. According to a source, it is a left ankle sprain that Jones suffered, which NFL Network was the first to report.

The revelation of this injury, which Jones did not immediately share with the team but became obvious late in Sunday’s loss when he was limping noticeably, caused Judge to slightly alter his stance from earlier in the week that Jones would start against the Browns on Sunday. That statement was made with the assumption that Jones would be in the same shape or better than he was against the Cardinals.

"I haven’t decided either way with Daniel," he said.

Judge said the team will be monitoring Jones throughout practices this week and watching how he reacts to both injuries before making a decision on the starting quarterback for Sunday. Colt McCoy is the backup quarterback who has started one and finished the past three Giants games because of Jones’ injuries.

"I can tell you that he is optimistic," Judge said, "but I’ll tell you right now if his left arm was attached by a rubber band he would tell us he’d figure out a way to get it done. We’ll have to see him through practice this week."

That began on Wednesday, with Jones on the field with the team but moving quite gingerly based on media videos of the early portions of the workout.

"I’m going to give him an opportunity this week to work through practice and see how he moves and how he reacts to things," Judge said.

The decision, he said, would be made just as it was last week and be based on whether Jones can move and defend himself in the pocket.

"If he is not at risk beyond any normal game then we’ll go ahead and give him the opportunity to play," Judge said. "If we think that’s an issue that he can’t go out there and defend himself, we’ll make the best decision for him long-term and the team as well."

The upcoming Giants game could go a long way in determining whether or not they win the NFC East and make the playoffs. They trail Washington by one game in the division, are a half-game ahead of Philadelphia and one game ahead of Dallas. All three teams will have played their game on Sunday before the Giants take the field that night against the Browns.

As for Jones not telling the team about his ankle injury immediately, Judge said when the team noticed him hobbling late in the game, they went to McCoy.

"He is a tough, tough competitor," Judge said. "He is not going to be very early to tell you that he just has a boo-boo. This guy, it takes something serious for him to open up and give information about what is going on. You have to see it with your eyes."

Those same eyes will now be watching Jones this week to determine whether or not he plays on Sunday.

"We want to make sure that the hamstring from last week, see how that came out," Judge said. "We haven’t really moved him around yet since then, see if there is a wear and tear or fatigue that is going to set him back. With the other one, like anybody else, he’s dealing with some things right now and we have to evaluate where he is with that.

"We’re evaluating both equally," Judge added. "I wouldn’t say one is more of a concern than the other, but we have to see how he moves throughout the week."

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