Daniel Jones won’t make the call. Neither will Joe Judge. If they did, the issue likely would have been settled already and Jones would be the unambiguous starting quarterback for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins.
Instead, they and the entire team are waiting to get a final assessment from the medical staff on whether Jones is healthy enough to play with the neck strain he suffered last Sunday. More important, they want to make certain Jones cannot suffer further or more significant damage if he does play.
"This is doctors," Judge said on Thursday.
And their call may not be made until just before kickoff in Miami.
"This is no different than a lot of injuries we deal with every week," Judge said. "Guys go through an early-week evaluation, they go through treatment and checkups throughout the week, then obviously at the end of the week, they get a final say-so. Some guys go up to game time, other guys we get a final say-so on a Friday or Saturday morning."
Judge said he has no problem waiting until Sunday to determine Jones’ status.
"We went up to game time several times this year with Kenny [Golladay], with Kyle [Rudolph], with [Sterling] Shepard," Judge said. "To me, it’s a lot more about the experience a guy has and can you depend on this guy with short preparation to carry out his job . . . Obviously, quarterback is always going to be timing and you need the reps, but the way [Jones] prepares and the fact that he’s out here and doing stuff with us, that’s different."
Jones was, in fact, on the practice field Thursday. He took part in all of the passing exercises during the portion of the workout open to the media and, as a starting quarterback would, took the first rep in every drill. He even stayed after practice to do extra throwing with practice squad receiver David Sills. Jones was listed as limited on the injury report for the second straight day.
Before the practice, senior offensive assistant Freddie Kitchens said he expected Jones’ role in the workout to be "just like regular old times." In most ways, looking in from the outside, it was.
"He looked like Daniel," Judge said of Jones’ lack of obvious limitations in practice.
That seems to be the frustrating part about this for Judge and the Giants. If Jones were in a cast or a boot or a neck brace, it would be easy to glance at him and determine that he is unfit to play. They’d move on to backup quarterback Mike Glennon. Instead, all outward appearances make it seem as if there is nothing at all wrong with Jones.
Judge has offered some ominous notes to offset the mostly optimistic ones he has been singing all week.
"Hopefully his health keeps improving throughout the course of the season but in the short term as well," he said, indicating this could be something Jones deals with for the rest of the year.
Judge was asked on Wednesday if Jones’ injury could be considered season-ending and he said: "At this time, no."
The Giants are bracing for the possibility of being without Jones on Sunday or beyond.
"Not having ‘8’ out there would obviously be tough," Saquon Barkley said. "When he’s not on the field, we miss him. He’s special. He’s a heck of a player. At the same time, we have to have a next-man-up mentality. Whatever happens on Sunday, we all have to be ready to go out there and get a win."
For now, the Giants are tapping their feet and drumming their fingers — and in the case of Jones himself, practicing football — until they get final word from the doctors on who their quarterback will be come 1 p.m. Sunday in Miami.
"I’m just waiting on medical opinions right now," Judge said. "I rely on the information given by the medical team in terms of when someone can go on the field and stay on the field healthy."
The doctors are in. Whether the quarterback will be is up to them.