Business as Usual for Manning Amid Uncertainty at Quarterback

Patricia Traina

Just when Eli Manning thinks he’s seen it all, life in the NFL throws another curveball his way.

This week it’s a case of “will he or won’t he” when it comes to rookie Daniel Jones, the starting quarterback who is currently sidelined by a high ankle sprain. 

Jones has been making progress in his injury and is said to be working around the clock to get back on the field, but has not, at least as of Wednesday, been fully cleared medically to take his full practice workload.

Those circumstances have left Eli Manning twisting a bit in the wind, especially since head coach Pat Shurmur has already said that once Jones is healthy, he will go back into the starting lineup.

But Manning, who in 16 years has let very few things both him when it comes to on-field business, is, as usual, taking everything in stride.

Yeah, you still go about your practice, go about your preparation getting ready for Miami,” he said Wednesday. “Got a lot of work, kind of an unfamiliar team, we don’t play them that often. So, get in the film work, get the game plan, and see how it goes.”

If Jones can’t go, that would assure Manning of at least one more start in front of the Giants’ home crowd. But he kept reiterating that all he can do is keep working and doing what’s asked of him until a final decision regarding Jones’ availability is made.

Well, we’ll figure it out as the week goes,” Manning said, “Again, nothing is being decided today. All I can worry about is just getting prepared to play. Either way, whether I’m the starter or not, I’m going to be prepared. Just go about my business getting myself ready and getting the team ready to play.”

Two days removed from his first action since September, Manning sounded overall pleased with what he put on tape.

You know, some good, some bad. There are always going to be plays— could’ve hung with the receiver a little longer here, made a certain throw there. So, some good stuff but also always plays that could be better.”

More importantly, he said he felt fresh after taking his first hits in 10 weeks.

“Yeah, I feel good. I didn’t take too many shots or anything, so the body feels fresh and feels good still.”

Manning kept refusing to deal with “what if” scenarios, but he did admit that his experience Monday night reaffirmed that he still has something left in the tank.

“I still feel like I can play; I don’t think that ever crossed through my mind,” he said. “I had a good first half, made some plays. We didn’t do enough in the second half. See the things I can improve on and work on them this week, and make sure that I’m just ready for all of the circumstances and the looks that Miami gives.”

And not worry about things that are out of his control.

Comments (1)
No. 1-1

I'd like to see Eli get one more start at Met Life. Why not? He's earned it. At this point what is there to lose? Even if Jones is ready, why risk him re-injuring himself before he is ready? Missing another game is not going to stymie his career but rushing him back too soon just may.