When first asked about Jake Fromm on Monday, Giants safety Julian Love let out an audible groan before the question regarding one of his newest teammates — and the possible starting quarterback in Sunday’s game against the Chargers — could even be completed.
It wasn’t out of exasperation over the shambles in which the Giants’ quarterback situation has become with Daniel Jones likely to miss at least another game due to a neck injury, backup Mike Glennon in the concussion protocols and, in the latest twist to the never-ending disarray, quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski entering COVID protocols that might keep him from in-person meetings with the position group during this week. Not that he would have been out of line for grousing about all of that misfortune.
Instead, as Fromm prepares for what could be not just his first NFL start but his first NFL snaps, Love was unhappy to be reminded of Fromm’s first start as a true freshman at the University of Georgia which took place in South Bend against Love’s Notre Dame team in 2017.
"You had to bring up that game," he sighed.
Georgia won, 20-19.
"I don’t know him personally too well," Love continued, "but I’m excited to see what he presents whatever position he is put in going forward."
That position may very well be the most important position on the field. Plucked from the Bills’ practice squad just a week ago, Fromm is the last quarterback standing on the active roster. Jones (neck) visited with doctors on Monday to "receive some different opinions and diagnoses and things of that nature," Joe Judge said. Jones is not expected to be cleared for contact by Sunday’s game against the Chargers.
The Giants have Brian Lewerke on their practice squad and he has been with the team for most of the season so has familiarity with the playbook, but like Fromm he has yet to play an NFL snap. Judge said on Monday the team is looking into players at other positions to use in emergency situations — and this would certainly seem to qualify as such — including, presumably, rookie wide receiver Kadarius Toney who, with three passes attempted this year, is by default the most experienced available quarterback on the team. Of course Toney has missed the last two games due to injuries, too.
In the meantime, the Giants are facing a looming reality that when they take the practice field for their first workout at the University of Arizona on Wednesday, Fromm will be running an already inept offense that has managed to score just two touchdowns in the last three games.
"We’ll get Jake and Brian ready for the game based on whatever we may have to do," Judge said. "The plan right now is for Jake to continue in his role. In terms of contingencies, whether that is the COVID contingency or the uncertainty with the other quarterbacks, we’re talking internally about a lot of options to make sure we build in depth."
The Giants have plenty of coaches and players on their team who know Fromm not only as a competitor like Love and other SEC opponents, but as a teammate. Fromm is one of seven former Bulldogs on the roster or practice squad. Before they signed him from Buffalo, Judge and the front office asked their other Georgia products about Fromm.
"Every single one of them lit up and said they’d love to have that guy on the team," Judge said. "He has a very good presence, he’s a good teammate, has a lot of leadership qualities about him … A lot of intangibles."
Left tackle Andrew Thomas blocked for Fromm for three years at Georgia.
"We won a lot of games there," Thomas said. "I’m excited to see him get his opportunity."
If he does get that shot, it won’t be as simple as next-man-up.
"The biggest thing you have to do is make sure he has a grasp on what you’d like to run with him in the game," Judge said. "When you go from Daniel to Mike you want to stay as close to the offense as you possibly can and expect him to go out and execute the game plan. For a guy who has only been in the system for a couple days you have to select more of a menu of what he can operate within. That’s not limiting based on his ability, it’s just based on being new in the scheme and system. What’s he comfortable with going out there and playing aggressively and making the right decisions with?"
The Giants may be about to find out. Possibly the hard way.