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Will Giants have Daniel Jones or Colt McCoy under center vs. Browns?

Daniel Jones #8 of the Giants looks on

Daniel Jones #8 of the Giants looks on from the sidelines late in the fourth quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Giants backup quarterback Colt McCoy said that starter Daniel Jones looked "good" in practice Friday. But, of course, the backup doesn’t have much say as to whether Jones will play Sunday night against the Browns.

That decision is still up in the air. After coach Joe Judge said that "in a perfect world," he wanted to have a decision on Jones Friday, the Giants listed him as questionable on the afternoon injury report because of ankle and hamstring injuries. He was limited in practice, according to the injury report. This puts McCoy in the ready position for Sunday night, but he’s obviously waiting on the final word to come from the coaching staff.

"Obviously, to know sooner rather than later would be great," McCoy said Friday. "It’s all about how [Jones] feels. I thought he looked good today, but we’ll see where it goes."

Jones clearly was limited in Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals, completing 11 of 21 passes for 127 yards and no touchdowns. More to the point, his mobility just wasn’t there. Jones did not attempt a rush a previous staple to his game — and was sacked six times. Immediately following the game, Judge said he did not regret playing Jones.

The Giants then canceled practice on Thursday out of precaution after offensive coordinator Jason Garrett tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday night, further complicating the evaluation of Jones.

"[Jones has] been working hard with the trainers," Judge said before Friday’s practice. "I just really want to see his mobility overall. We’re not going to have some kind of obstacle course we throw him through. It’s going to be just seeing him through football movements, some individual drills, some team settings, and how he looks out there."

McCoy has seen his fair share of action over the last month. He started in the Giants’ Week 13 win over the Seahawks, completing 13 of 22 passes for 105 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. McCoy finished last week’s loss to the Cardinals and the Week 12 win over the Bengals because of Jones’ injuries.

"He did a lot of things well," Judge said of McCoy. "First off, I love the way he just controlled the flow of the game, tempo of the game, calls at the line of scrimmage, identifying what the defense was in, putting us in the right plays. He made some big plays for us down the stretch, some key completions that continued drives.

"He understands the flow of getting ready for a 60-minute game. So, if things aren’t going well initially, you’re never going to hear him complain or tap out. He’s very committed to the process, any adjustments you have to make. Colt’s a smart dude. He’s always in tune to talking on the sidelines about ‘hey, what do you guys think about maybe changing this up?’ or ‘you want to stick with this?’ "

While the Giants don’t yet know if they’ll have their regular signal-caller, they do know that they’ll have a different play-caller. Tight ends coach and former Browns head coach, Freddie Kitchens, will make the calls Sunday night in the absence of Garrett.

"Freddie is going to step in and do a really good job," McCoy said. "For us as quarterbacks, we just have to get on the same page with him. He’s going to call the game. We’ll be fine. We’ll work out the kinks tomorrow. We did a good job today and we’ll be ready to go."

Kitchens said that nothing will change with the offense despite him being in the quarterback’s ear. He also didn’t seem overly concerned about play-calling changes if McCoy is under center rather than Jones.

"You just try to put your players, whoever those players are, in a position to make plays and try to keep them in the best position possible to do that," Kitchens said. "Whoever’s in there, that’s what we’ll try to do."

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