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Daniel Jones's Neck Injury Creates "Gray Area" for Rest of Season

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones's neck injury leaves the quarterback's status in limbo for the rest of the season.

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones has been injured in his first three seasons as a pro.

But unlike the two previous seasons where Jones had lower-body injuries, this time around, the 24-year-old quarterback is dealing with a neck ailment that is concerning enough for the team to feel a greater sense of urgency to add a third quarterback, Jake Fromm, to the roster as insurance.

Unlike an ankle or a hamstring, Jones has had two injuries in his first two seasons, a neck injury carries with it a little more uncertainty. One wrong hit can significantly alter his life—and not necessarily in a good way.

Considering we’re talking about a quarterback who has struggled with when to put his toughness on display and when to dial it back and be smart when taking off as a runner, the Giants are doing what they need to do when it comes to Jones: protect him from himself.

“There’s really gray area in what it is,” head coach Joe Judges said of Jones’s latest injury. “There’s really no final decision on (whether it’s season-ending). Obviously, at this point, we’re pushing to get him on the field as soon as he’s healthy and ready to go.

"He wants to be on the field as well. He just wasn’t cleared for contact today. In terms of what it’s going to look like in the immediate weeks coming up and future weeks down the stretch, there’s no answers right now. Everything else would be hypothetical or guessing at this point."

Earlier this year, Jones didn’t miss a start despite getting concussed to the point of being doozy by a hit to the head in Week 5 against Dallas, wasn’t cleared to go in Sunday’s game against Miami. It’s unclear right now if he’ll be cleared to face the Los Angeles Chargers this week, though the plan is for him to travel with the team from Miami to Tucson, Arizona, where the Giants will spend the next several days before heading to Los Angeles.

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Judge was asked several times last week if Jones’s injury was significant enough to shut him down for the season. While responding in the negative, Judge included the qualifying “at this moment” phrase to underscore that as of the moment the question was asked, shutting Jones down was not in the cards.

“In terms of what it’s going to look like in the immediate weeks coming up and future weeks down the stretch, there’s no answers right now,” Judge said. “Everything else would be hypothetical or guessing at this point.”

The Giants don’t seem to be in a hurry to place Jones on injured reserve, a move that if they were to make, would mandate that he miss a minimum of three games, starting with the first game after he's placed on IR (this week's missed game would not count against the three-game minimum).

The quarterback can still practice—he was limited all last week. By practicing in a controlled environment, he’s in no danger whatsoever of taking a hard hit at the hands of his teammates that would make his current situation worse.

By not putting Jones on injured reserve, the coaches can still bring him along on the practice field and evaluate what they have in him, especially with the organization needing to decide about his option year by next April.

However, that evaluation process can only go so far. It cannot be considered complete unless Jones is on the field against live competition. The very same live competition puts him at risk if his neck injury is indeed serious enough to warrant holding him out of action.

“We’ll evaluate everything for the future as we get through it,” Judge said.


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