The Eli Manning goodbye tour will make at least one more stop.
Daniel Jones (high ankle sprain) officially has been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins, meaning Manning will get at least one final crack at saying a proper goodbye to the MetLife Stadium faithful.
Or, Pat Shurmur said, it might not be his last chance at all.
“All I know is that Eli is starting the game against Miami,” Shurmur said. “I think, with Eli, he’s going to stay in the moment and keep playing, and he’s going to play this game knowing there’s two more left and he may be the starter in the last two. He’s done it his whole career, staying in the moment, so my guess is that he’s going to do it that way this time.”
Manning declined to comment Friday, other than noting that nothing has changed since he last spoke Wednesday. “See y’all Sunday,” he added.
This will be the second game that Jones has missed since hurting himself in the first half against the Packers on Dec. 2, although he played through the injury that day. Shurmur said Jones has made progress since the original injury and held to what he’s said all along: It’s similar to the one that sidelined Saquon Barkley for three games, but not as severe. That doesn’t necessarily mean he will be back next week in Washington, though.
“It’s hard to say,” Shurmur said. “People heal at different rates. I can tell he’s a fast healer. He’s champing at the bit to get out there [and] he believes in his ability to play, whatever his physical condition is . . . But at this stage, in Daniel’s case, we’ve got to save him from himself in a few of these situations moving forward, but that’s a good thing.”
Manning was benched after Week 2 in favor of the rookie but returned Monday in a 23-17 loss to the Eagles in Philadelphia, a game in which the Giants held a 17-3 halftime lead. He went 15-for-30 for 203 yards and threw two second-quarter touchdown passes to Darius Slayton before having a rough second half.
This will be Manning’s first start at MetLife Stadium since Sept. 15. “It’s crazy, right?” safety Michael Thomas said. “We love to see Eli out there. Guys rally around Eli . . . I’m excited to see him back out there.”
If Jones progresses, it could be Manning’s last home start, though. He will be a free agent after this season, and it’s unclear if he’ll choose to retire after 16 years with the Giants.
Notes & quotes: Tight ends Evan Engram (foot) and Rhett Ellison (concussion) and offensive lineman Kevin Zeitler (ankle) were ruled out for Sunday.