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Daniel Jones returns to starting role for Giants

Daniel Jones will start Sunday and Eli Manning

Daniel Jones will start Sunday and Eli Manning will go back to the bench. Credit: Mike Stobe

Daniel Jones is good to go again.

The rookie quarterback missed the last two games for the Giants because of a moderate high ankle sprain, allowing Eli Manning two more chances to run the offense. But Jones practiced fully Friday for the third straight day.

Pat Shurmur announced that Jones is expected to get the keys back for Sunday’s game at Washington. “Barring anything crazy, he’ll start and Eli will back him up,” he said.

Jones injured his right ankle on a fourth-down run in the second quarter of a  31-13 loss to Green Bay at MetLife Stadium on Dec. 1, although he finished the game. But there appear to have been no issues this week.

“He looked fine,” Shurmur said. “He looked good. He’s prepared and ready to go.”

Jones didn’t address the media Friday, but he related his progression Wednesday.

“I felt good through [last] week and obviously it’s a process,” he said. “I feel better this week. Through it, I felt like I’ve progressed every day and every week.”

It has been nearly three months since Jones experienced a victory as an active player — a 24-3 win over Washington on Sept. 29 at MetLife Stadium in his second start after taking over for Manning. 

The Giants snapped their nine-game losing streak last Sunday with a 36-20 home win over Miami, improving their record to 3-11 and giving Manning a perfect send-off if it turns out to be his last game playing for them or his last game overall.

Jones’ losing streak remains at eight, but the sixth overall pick in the draft has flashed progress and promise. He has a pair of 300-yard, four-touchdown games. He has broken Charlie Conerly’s 71-year-old Giants rookie passing records for most completions (now with 228), attempts (370) and yards (2,374). Jones also has 18 touchdown passes, four off Conerly’s rookie record.  

But there have been some big bumps, too. Jones has thrown 11 interceptions and fumbled 15 times, losing 10. He wants to cut the turnovers in the final two games.   

“Ball security is obviously the big thing and making sure that I’m doing my part in protecting the ball; making sure as an offense we’re protecting the ball,” he said. “That way, it gives us the best chance to win.”

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