Giants quarterback Daniel Jones seems to think he has more to prove than he really does.
The third-year quarterback, rarely passing on an opportunity to put his toughness on display, has done so now several times. There have been those instances where he took off as a runner and fought for an extra yard or two by lowering his head and trying to drive forward with his shoulder.
Then there was his attempt to bounce back from a hamstring strain suffered last year that cost him one game only for him to prove that he wasn’t anywhere near ready to defend himself against an Arizona Cardinals pass rush.
That led to Jones suffering a sprained ankle that head coach Joe Judge later admitted might have landed the majority of the players in league with that injury to shut it down.
More recently, on a designed run down at the Cowboys 1-yard line, Jones tried to force his way into the end zone for the score, again by lowering his head and trying to drive forward with his throwing shoulder no less.
But this time, Jones’s bravado proved costly, as he took a helmet-to-helmet hit from Cowboys defender Jabrill Cox, a hit that pushed Jones’s head back before he was slammed to the ground.
Trying to pop up as if nothing were wrong, Jones was visibly unstable on his feet and was ultimately carted off the field for further evaluation for a head injury, the diagnosis confirmed. Now in the league’s protocol, Jones is in jeopardy of missing Sunday’s game, which, if he does miss, would make the third straight year he wasn’t available for an entire slate of regular-season games.
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Moreover, it’s a crushing blow to a Giants offense that already will be without running back Saquon Barkley (ankle) and receiver Kenny Golladay (knee).
Giants head coach Joe Judge, offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski—and there are probably even more than that in the organization—have repeatedly urged Jones about when to call it a day and when to fight for the extra yardage.
“It’s something we talk to Daniel about a lot, when’s the time to push the extra yard, when’s the time to go ahead and slide and get down and get out of bounds,” Judge said Monday. “Obviously Daniel went for the goal line right there, it was a tough situation, and we’ll see how he comes out of this.”
Judge refused to second-guess Jones’s intentions or question his toughness, nor did he indicate that there might be a cutting back of those rushing opportunities for the quarterback.
“The guy’s a competitive guy, he’s a tough dude,” he said. “I know he’s trying to make every extra yard. We’ll look at some of the further schemes going forward, but in terms of Daniel as a runner, that’s something that’s been a strength for our team and will continue to be a strength for our team.”
But a strength is only a strength if it’s available. If Jones continues to want to prove how tough he is instead of exercising better judgment in those dangerous situations, then what does it matter what strengths he lends to the offense if he’s not on the field to contribute?
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