Perhaps the most telling thing anyone said on Wednesday regarding the availability of Daniel Jones was uttered when coach Brian Daboll was asked if third-string quarterback Davis Webb may have to be promoted to the active roster for Sunday’s game against the Packers.
“I think it depends on where Tyrod [Taylor] is and if Tyrod can make it or not,” he said regarding the backup being in the concussion protocol.
Jones? He and his sprained left ankle weren’t even part of the thought equation whether he was omitted inadvertently or not.
The Giants seem to be moving ahead with more than just optimism but a strong sense bordering on certainty that Jones will be ready to take the field at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London on Sunday. Jones practiced on Wednesday, going through drills and reps early in the workout with the starting unit (with Webb as his backup and Taylor still sidelined). As long as he does not have any setbacks in the coming days he will likely start against the Packers.
“We’ll see where he is at after (Wednesday),” Daboll said of Jones before the practice. “We’ll put him out there, give him some reps, and see where he is at.”
Daboll wasn’t available after practice to say what he’d seen, but the fact the Giants did not sign another quarterback after trying out three of them Tuesday and keeping potential signee Brian Lewerke in town overnight just in case Jones did not meet the team’s expectations spoke for him and the organization.
Jones said repeatedly he was “feeling good” after practice.
“I’ve made a lot of progress these last couple of days and will continue to do what they tell me to do in the training room as we go through the week,” he said.
In the early part of practice Jones was able to run and throw without any visible encumberments. He went through drills that included him shuffling in the pocket and throwing on the run outside of it. He was officially listed as limited because of the reps he participated in once the media viewing portion of the workout ended but certainly did not seem to have any physical limitations.
That mobility is a very important component to any decision regarding Jones. Two years ago he came back from a hamstring injury to face the Cardinals and his lack of escapability led to him being sacked six times and suffering another injury.
It isn’t only his ability to protect himself, either. The Giants’ offense through four games this year has relied heavily on Jones running with the ball. His 193 rushing yards are second-most on the team behind only Saquon Barkley and third most among quarterbacks in the NFL behind Lamar Jackson and Jalen Hurts.
“If they’re out there they’re going to be ready to play,” Daboll said. “Obviously as a coach you want to put them in the best position you can whether that’s dropbacks, runs, play actions, bootlegs, you do that as a coach. If a guy is coming back from injury you are not going to put a guy out there who you think is not ready to go.
“You want guys to be able to execute what you need to execute in order to give yourself a chance to win.”
The idea that Jones is even a possibility for Sunday after the way he looked hobbled by the Bears has impressed the Giants, although Daboll said he was “not surprised” to have Jones practicing just three days after the game against the Bears in which he twisted that ankle on a roll out in the third quarter, left the game, then had to return to the field after Taylor’s injury.
“He’s a pretty tough individual,” Daboll said. “You try to find out about guys when you meet them and build a relationship and then when they are faced with some type of adversity I think you learn a lot about individuals. It’s easy to gauge people when things are great, it’s when things aren’t great [you learn the most] … I think he is a mentally strong person. But he’s pretty tough physically too.”
Webb, who would be in line for his first career start and just his second career regular-season appearance if Jones and Taylor are unavailable, said he wasn’t shocked by the way Jones practiced Wednesday, either.
“He spun it well,” Webb said of Jones’ throws. “I think he could have spun it on Sunday [against the Bears] if he needed to. He’s a tough guy.
“I think he’ll be ready to rock.”