Daniel Jones will have "every opportunity" this week to prove he is physically ready to return for Sunday’s game against the Cardinals, Joe Judge said on Monday.
"If that’s the case," he said, "then we obviously want him to play. But we’re going to make sure we do the right thing by him."
Against the Seahawks, that meant keeping him and his strained right hamstring on the bench. Judge said the deciding factor in that call — which went against Jones’ pleas — was an uncertainty that the quarterback would be able to dodge the intense traffic that can accumulate in the pocket.
For the coming game, Judge said the same critical questions will determine Jones’ availability.
"When there is pressure in the pocket, can you sidestep? Can you step up? If he has to leave the pocket and scramble, if there is a gap open for him to go ahead and tuck the ball and run and get a first down, are these things that we are OK with him doing?" Judge said.
"I want to make sure that when his natural instincts kick in as a player that he’s not limited somehow physically where someone has an advantage over him on the field. That’s just not fair for us to do.
"These are great athletes on the field, they’re playing very aggressively, and he’s at the toughest position in terms of holding the ball every play and everybody trying to take your head off . . . I’ve got to make sure I do the right thing by him and making sure we don’t put him out there on the field where he can’t do that and he’s just a sitting duck."
Jones injured his hamstring on Nov. 29 against the Bengals and did not return to practice with the team until Dec. 4. By then, the Giants had spent several days preparing backup Colt McCoy to face the Seahawks.
Jones gave one last push to get on the field Sunday in a pregame workout, but Judge said he felt it was in Jones’ best interest to sit that one out.
"I had to make the decision this week to hold him out," Judge said. "He was a little disappointed because he is a competitive guy, but we’ve got Wednesday, Thursday, Friday to get on the field. We’ll see how he looks there and make the best decision for him going forward."