Asked a few times recently about resting players in Sunday’s regular-season finale, which has no bearing on the Giants’ seeding or playoff opponent, coach Brian Daboll has suggested he will not.
“No,” he said, “you get rest after the season. It’s a long season. This is the fun part of the season when you’re winning. You get rest after the season.”
The Giants are the NFC’s sixth seed and will play either the Vikings or the 49ers in the first round of the playoffs. Daboll said his focus is on Week 18. “Full steam ahead on getting prepped and ready for the Eagles,” he said.
Why? “Because that’s this week’s game. It’s what’s most important, make sure our guys are ready to go.”
Not surprisingly on Thursday, offensive coordinator Mike Kafka agreed with his boss.
Kafka most recently was the Kansas City passing game coordinator before joining Daboll’s staff. Daboll’s intentions are contrary to how Kansas City coach Andy Reid has handled resting players.
“I probably wouldn’t speak for Coach Reid on his philosophy of it,” Kafka said, “but I know what we’re doing here and how Dabes wants to handle it. That’s what we’ll fully support.”
Asked again about Reid’s pattern, Kafka deferred. “For me, that’s so far in the past,” he said. “I’m just so focused on this week and practice and getting our guys ready to play.”
Receivers have improved
One topic Kafka was pleased to talk about was the Giants’ unheralded wide receivers, a group that seemingly has come a long way during the season. Richie James, Darius Slayton and Isaiah Hodgins, who joined the Giants in early November after being claimed off waivers from Buffalo, have improved as the season has gone along.
“They’ve done a tremendous job being in the right spot, executing, playing really hard in both the run and the pass game,” Kafka said. “They’re detail guys, they’re smart guys that you really trust that are dependable and tough. I’m proud of that group. They’ve done a nice job.”
DNP: OLB Azeez Ojulari (ankle), DL Leonard Williams (neck). Limited: C Jon Feliciano (back), CB Adoree’ Jackson (knee). Full: S Xavier McKinney (fingers), DL Dexter Lawrence (not injury-related/rest).