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Eli Manning: I’ll play if coach Ben McAdoo thinks it’s best

Quarterback Eli Manning of the New York Giants

Quarterback Eli Manning of the New York Giants looks on against the Philadelphia Eagles during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016. Credit: Getty Images / Al Bello

Eli Manning has started 198 consecutive regular-season games for the Giants, but he said that streak will have nothing to do with whether he plays against Washington on Sunday.

“No, that doesn’t play in,’’ Manning said on a conference call Monday. “I’m going to do whatever coach [Ben] McAdoo thinks is best for the team, best for me, best for us going forward. That won’t play a factor.”

It’s a mathematically meaningless game, so some believe Manning should be rested to avoid a potential injury.

There is, of course, a way around that while preserving the streak. The Giants could start Manning for a few series or maybe the first half, then pull him as if it were a preseason game.

That would give Josh Johnson, the only backup quarterback on the roster, a chance to play for the Giants for the first time. Johnson was added to the roster after the preseason games this past summer.

Manning said his streak is not important, but he certainly made it sound as if he’d like to play.

“My take is to play,” he said. “Go in there, play well, try to find a good rhythm offensively, going against a team in the division, a team you know well, they know us. I think that’s the mindset. Until I’m told differently, that’s how I’m taking it.”

Giants not spoilers

Defensive captain Jonathan Casillas said the Giants would get no pleasure from beating Washington just because it would eliminate their NFC East rival from playoff contention. Washington needs a win and possibly some help to get the last wild-card spot.

“It isn’t about them,” Casillas said. “It’s about us. I don’t care where they land at, if they make the playoffs or not, and I never did.”

Giant steps

Manning was glad the Saints beat the Bucs on Saturday afternoon, which clinched a playoff berth for the Giants.

“That was a good moment that we were in,” he said. “Got to enjoy the weekend, made the weekend a little bit better knowing that we were in the playoffs and enjoyed the holidays and Christmas with family.”

The players were off and scattered at their homes, and Manning said he shared texts with teammates to celebrate the accomplishment.

And on Tuesday, the Giants will reconvene in person as a playoff team for the first time since 2011.

New York Sports