Giants Coach Pat Shurmur said on Wednesday that Jones will not need surgery for his high-ankle sprain, but given that the 2-10 Giants are in the latter stages of another lost season and the fact that high-ankle sprains can linger for weeks, we may have seen the last of the rookie this year. He apparently was hurt in Sunday’s loss to the Packers, though he never left the game.
The Giants, who have been eliminated from playoff contention, visit the Eagles on Monday night and host them in Week 17; they also play the Dolphins and Redskins. Manning has not led the Giants to a win over Philadelphia since November, 2016, losing five straight.
Manning completed 56 of 89 passes for 556 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions, in his two starts this season, double-digit losses to the Cowboys and Bills. In naming Jones his starter, Shurmur said the move “was best for this team at this time” and “was more about Daniel moving forward than about Eli.”
“Hey, we’re 0-2 and you’re looking for answers,” Manning said at the time. “I get it. You draft a guy early and you’re not winning games, things are going to come up. I’ve just got to keep working and do whatever my job is.”
But no matter that he’s been almost perfectly mediocre over the course of his career — the Giants are 116-116 with him as their starter — Manning’s benching still made news because of his two Super Bowl rings, both over dominant Patriots teams, and because of his sheer longevity: He had played 15 seasons in the NFL entering this year and was New York’s starting quarterback for nearly every single game.
Now Manning, an unrestricted free agent after this season and about to turn 39, will get at least one more chance to prove that he still has something left.
“You never want to try to make decisions about your future while you’re still living in the present and don’t know the circumstances of what could happen,” Manning said, according to the New York Times. “I’ll analyze everything else after the season.”
Manning’s teammates had nothing but praise after Wednesday’s practice.
“He looked really good today,” tight end Evan Engram said.
“He lit it up at practice,” wide receiver Sterling Shepard said.
Manning told reporters that it had been tough to practice every day but not get to play on Sundays.
“It felt good to get out there today and throw it around,” he said.