As everyone knows by now, the New York Giants are dealing with another problem on the quarterback front. Daniel Jones came into the last game with a hamstring injury, but that’s been upgraded into an additional ankle injury on top of the original one after Jones took a few too many hits against the Cardinals. It’s believed that Jones was injured further while taking a hit in that game, and now his status is again in doubt going into an important game with the nine win Browns.
Daniel Jones didn’t move well during the open portion of Wednesday’s practice. Even backpedaling during stretching. After a throw or two you could see his leg jolt a bit. Clearly affected by double leg injuries.
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) December 16, 2020
Jones didn’t look the best on practice on Wednesday, which is already a red flag that he might not be in a good spot to start by the time Sunday night comes. After all, we all saw how Jones played against Arizona after being limited in practice all week.
But should the team sit Jones for the rest of the season and guarantee that his health doesn’t decline further?
Looking ahead for the Giants
The Giants only have three games left in the season and are currently in second place against the NFC East. Right now, they haven’t been eliminated from the playoffs. But if they aren’t at peak performance, that could happen easily. Washington will make it in if they win out, and the Giants need to win more than Washington in the final weeks to surpass them.
Jones was expected to be over his injury after the Arizona game, but taking too many hits due to the offensive line and his lack of mobility in that game dealt him another injury. If the Giants start him against Cleveland while he’s still low on mobility, it would be hard to guarantee that doesn’t happen again.
Sitting Jones doesn’t look like the best option for the Giants to make it into the playoffs. After all, Colt McCoy hasn’t shone as brightly while replacing him, and the Seattle game was largely won by the defense. Unlike some other teams, the Giants don’t have a true competitor to Jones waiting in the wings. However, the assumption that starting Jones will help the team win is based on the idea that Jones is healthy.
We saw what happened when Jones played hurt against Arizona, and playing hurt against Cleveland could easily end the same way. Furthermore, it could result in another injury or aggravate one of the ones Jones is dealing with right now. And if that happens, the Giants will likely still be dealing with the same problem going into the critical last two weeks.
Should Jones start on Sunday?
If Jones couldn’t play well with a hamstring injury, it’s doubtful that he can do so while playing with both a hamstring and an ankle injury. The Giants would be smart to sit him here, even if it makes the offense look worse on paper. As for the rest of the season, that may depend on whether or not Jones can recover quickly enough following the Cleveland game – as well as the result.
Should the team pull off an upset win, they’ll be in a better position to make the playoffs than they were coming into the game. It may be worth bringing Jones back at that point and taking more of a risk in the hunt for the critical wins they need in the last two games to have the best odds of making it in.
However, if the Giants lose, the best move might be sitting Jones for the last two games and allowing him to recover. While a loss here won’t eliminate the Giants, it does make their playoff situation a lot tougher. And sometimes, when the odds are against you, it’s best to know when to fold instead of forcing the issue.
There’s always next season, after all. But much of next season depends on Jones playing at his best and not spending the offseason dealing with injury recovery because the Giants carelessly started him through the end of the year and let him get injured further.