Daniel Jones was injured and on the sideline. Colt McCoy was scrambling and taking hits. And Golden Tate? He was starting to wonder.
The wide receiver is one of the Giants’ emergency quarterbacks. In fact, he’d already thrown two passes this season before McCoy even played a snap, including one earlier in Sunday’s game (his first incompletion in three career attempts, by the way). So if McCoy had gotten hurt — even for a play — chances are Tate would have had to line up at quarterback for the Giants.
"I would say I was ready, but I was not prepared," Tate said. "It’s one of those things that sounds really cool just talking about it and not thinking it’s realistically going to happen. But then once it becomes potentially realistic, you’re like, ‘Oh. Oh. This could be scary.’ "
It’s something that the Giants probably are more prepared for than Tate is. Especially given the strange circumstances last week for the Broncos in which their entire quarterback room was unavailable for a game because of COVID-19 protocols.
The Giants have been trying to come up with contingencies for every possible scenario during this wacky season, and chances are Joe Judge and his staff had a pretty good idea what they would do if they were stuck without a true quarterback for a game, for a series or even for a play.
"Look, I worked for a guy for a few years that every day I heard him say ‘adapt or die,’ " Judge said. "That’s kind of been the mentality. You go into it and you expect it to be one thing. Whatever comes up, you adjust, you get the players to adjust and you move forward.
"Sudden change is really a way that we build everything in our program in. We want to make sure that we can play on our toes and we can think on our toes, and whatever comes our way on a daily basis, we’re just ready to adjust."
It's one of the reasons the Giants are bringing in Joe Webb, currently in the COVID testing before he likely signs with the team. He’s a guy who can play quarterback, wide receiver, defensive back, special teams and just about any other spot on the field.
"Joe is a Swiss Army knife," special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey said. "Joe can do a little bit of everything. He’s the perfect guy, I would say, to come in in this COVID environment because he can do so many different jobs. Not to say that Joe’s the end-all be-all, but when you get a guy that has that type of versatility and position flex, you can play him at a bunch of different spots and he can fill some holes for you."
Even once Webb arrives, there still could be a need for someone like Tate to step in and play the most important position on the field.
"I think I’m one of the candidates that can go out there if something were to happen, God forbid," Tate said. "I’m not sure what any of us emergency quarterbacks need to do to prepare for that big moment, but we’ll cross that bridge if we get there."