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Giants' Joe Judge again must decide if Daniel Jones can play this week

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, center, talks to quarterback

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, center, talks to quarterback Colt McCoy (12) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020. Credit: AP/Corey Sipkin

Joe Judge keeps talking about making the right decision on playing Daniel Jones with the quarterback’s "long-term" health in mind.

With just two games left on the schedule, though, the season is a decidedly short-term proposition.

"The standard remains the same," Judge said of needing to be assured that Jones can move and protect himself in the pocket before he returns to action. "Because of any change of number of games remaining in the season, that doesn’t dictate what we would put him at in terms of risk on the field."

Jones did not meet that bar on Sunday for the second time in three weeks. Judge said after Sunday’s game that Jones’ two injuries – the lingering hamstring strain and the more recent ankle sprain – were too much to overcome.

"I didn’t think with the state of where I saw him in practice this week that I was doing the best thing by Daniel long-term [by playing him]," Judge said Sunday. "I have to make decisions from 30,000 feet. I have to look at what is best for this team in the short-term, but I also have to consider our players long-term and I have to consider the safety of the guy going forward."

Jones will have a chance to be on the field this week to practice and try to convince Judge he is ready. If he can’t, Colt McCoy will likely start for the third time in four games. McCoy is not nearly the athlete Jones is, but on Sunday night he was able to move better than Jones would have been.

"There are things that come up in the game naturally and I thought Colt did a really good job," Judge said. "The protection was good but Colt helped that a lot by stepping up and moving within the pocket, protecting the ball. You want to make sure you can put a quarterback out there in a position where he can not necessarily pull the ball down and run all the time but just move in the pocket fluidly to protect himself. If you can’t do that, you’re just putting yourself at a greater risk."

Notes & quotes: Cornerback James Bradberry, who missed Sunday’s game on the reserve/COVID-19 list because he had been in close contact with a chiropractor who tested positive, was reinstated to the active roster on Monday after experiencing no symptoms and testing negative throughout the process . . . Judge said offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, who did test positive and missed Sunday’s game, is on track to be cleared to return to the team for this week’s game against the Ravens, although he may not be cleared in time to travel to Baltimore with the team on Saturday. Tight ends coach Freddie Kitchens called the offensive plays with Garrett not available on Sunday.

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