Giants QB Daniel Jones appears on track to start against Cardinals
Daniel Jones said just about the same things in his weekly Zoom session with the media on Wednesday as he said last Wednesday in regard to his hamstring injury.
It is feeling better. He is taking things day-to-day. He is hopeful it heals up. He wants to get back out there and play.
There was another conversation he had around this point last week, though, that was not beamed to the public. It was one with backup quarterback Colt McCoy. In that talk, McCoy has said, Jones expressed all of the same points he made in his press conference but also confided that it would be a "long shot" for him to play against the Seahawks and that McCoy should be prepared to get the start.
This week? No such chat.
"He’s a competitor, he’s a captain," McCoy said of Jones. "He wants to be out there so bad. This is killing him. I think he’ll just see how he feels."
It’s just one of the many reasons Joe Judge, without declaring Jones ready and able to play on Sunday against the Cardinals, said he and the team are "optimistic" that the starting quarterback will return.
There are still hurdles to clear. The Giants had a walk-through workout on Wednesday (they projected Jones as a limited participant had it been a full practice) and Judge said seeing how Jones moves and handles his reps on Thursday and Friday would be the deciding factor.
"Friday will be a big day for us to kind of make a final decision hopefully going into the weekend," Judge said.
Jones noted that he has "a little bit of time here at the end of the week" to bolster his case to Judge and the trainers that he can move and protect himself on the injured leg. In that regard, Judge continued to insist that he cannot listen to Jones’ assessment of the injury because he will always say he is well enough to play.
"I know he’s going to tell us everything we want to hear," Judge said. "We’ve got to again use our eyes instead of our ears with Daniel."
The first chance for that to happen was Wednesday. Jones was at least able to stretch with the team and participate in drills, few of them approaching full speed and none with full contact. It did seem, though, that Jones took the majority of the reps — or at least more than was expected -— when McCoy noted that the division of labor "wasn’t communicated that well, to be honest" before they took the field.
"It’s all based on how D.J. feels, right?" McCoy said. "I think he’s feeling better and we’ll see how it goes throughout the week. I thought [Wednesday] was business as usual and it was good."
Jones did not give a direct answer when asked if he had yet been able to run full speed, saying only he has worked on "drills and movements" with the trainers. Nor did he put any specific value on where he is in his recovery.
"I’m not sure of a percentage," he said, "it’s just working every day to improve."
Unlike practices where he may be limited, Jones is fully engaged in meetings to dissect the Cardinals’ defense and install the offensive game plan. That’s a constant.
"Last week I prepared to play and prepared to get out there on the field and we decided that wasn’t going to happen," Jones said. "I’ll take the same approach this week."
McCoy said he, too, is going through his days the same was he did last week when he wound up making his first start in over a year.
"Nothing changes a whole lot," McCoy said of the process.
As for the end result and who starts on Sunday, though, that’s a change the Giants hope comes about.