New York Giants: Kyle Lauletta Isn’t The Guaranteed QB2 Just Yet

Aug 9, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Kyle Lauletta (17) throws a pass during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone expects rookie New York Giants quarterback Kyle Lauletta to play if for whatever reason Eli Manning heads to the bench this season. The general idea is that the Giants will eventually further evaluate Lauletta with some regular season playing time after taking him in the fourth round of the draft earlier this year, but even as the team gets further and further away from realistically challenging for the playoffs, that hasn’t happened yet.

Manning has already been named the starter for Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears. Beyond that one, there’s four games left in the season and just about everyone is wondering when, or if, the rookie from Richmond will play. It seemed before, after all, like the Chicago game would be a good time to make a switch at quarterback because it’s the first game since the Giants lost their chance at running the table through the end of the season.

At three games back, their playoff chances are all but dead in the water after the Philadelphia loss.

But if there is a change at quarterback, there’s no hard guarantee that it will be Lauletta who moves into the starting spot. Not if Pat Shurmur’s comments on Monday mean anything, anyway.

“Why are you jumping over Tanney? I think what you try to do is win each game. You make a decision based on winning the game. And you make your decisions based on putting the best team on the field that gives you a chance to win the game,” Shurmur said.

Alex Tanney is typically considered the third string quarterback, and the 31-year-old is in his first season with the Giants after stints with a number of other teams. Tanney spent much of his time on practice squads but managed to stay on the Titans from 2015 to 2017 before making the Giants roster in early September.

Tanney hasn’t played in the regular season this year and is largely inexperienced overall when it comes to getting time in games. It’s the reason why it seems unlikely that he actually starts, and more likely that this is Pat Shurmur giving a generic question to the media members who continue to ask about the starting quarterback situation and the chances of Lauletta playing.

Of course, the expectation that Lauletta will start this season may be unrealistic in itself. Lauletta wasn’t drafted high enough to have these kinds of expectations and there is a very real chance that it’s Manning who finishes out the year as the starter. In what could be his farewell season as starter, it’s not a certainty that the coaching staff will bench him for a mid round draft pick that looked good but not great during the preseason.

Whatever the case, we’ll have to wait to find out who ends the season as starter. It’s already confirmed that Manning will play against Chicago, for better or worse coming off of a decent game in the loss to Philadelphia last Sunday.