EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Daniel Jones' personal injury report changed today. His status for the Giants' Sunday night home game against the Cleveland Browns did not.
The second-year quarterback was limited in practice because of the hamstring injury he suffered in Cincinnati 16 days ago and an ankle injury he sustained last Sunday in the Giants' loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Despite the additional issue, coach Joe Judge said he will adhere to the same criteria used last week to determine if Jones can play in the game.
"I'm going to give him an opportunity this week to work through practice and see how he moves and how he reacts to things," Judge said. "Again, if he can defend himself properly in the pocket, as I've said before on how I'll handle it, if he's not at risk beyond any normal game, then we'll go ahead and give him the opportunity to play. If we think that's an issue, that he can't go out there and defend himself, then we'll make the best decision for him long-term and the team as well."
Judge revealed Jones' new injury on a pre-practice Zoom call.
"There's really nothing worse for the wear with the previous injury," Judge said. "He did come out with some bumps and bruises. There's another lower leg issue we're dealing with right now. We're going to go ahead and move him around in practice today, see where he's at."
Jones' ailments were listed as "hamstring/ankle" on the team's post-practice injury report.
"We're evaluating both, so I want to make sure that the hamstring from last week, see how that came out," Judge said. "We haven't really moved him around yet since that, want to see if there's a wear or tear or any kind of fatigue that's going to set him back. As well as the other one, like anybody else dealing with some things right now, we have to evaluate where he is with that as well. We're evaluating both equally. I wouldn't say one is more of a concern than the other right now, but we've got to look and see how he moves throughout the week."
Jones said he suffered the ankle injury when he was hit in the pocket. "I think it was some point about midway through the game," he said.
Against the Cardinals, Jones did not possess his customary mobility; he was sacked six times and for the first time in his career, he did not have a rushing attempt. He was limping in the second half.
"That was part of the other thing (the ankle injury) that we noticed at the end of the game last game," Judge said. "To be honest with you, that was part of the communication not through any negligence on our part, but again, I've told you about Daniel, he's a tough, tough competitor. He's not going to be very early to tell you that he just has a boo-boo. This guy, it takes something serious for him to kind of open up and give information about what's going on and you've got to really see it with your eyes. So, we obviously noticed it the other day, we got Colt in the game. We'll see how he moves in practice, we'll see how this progresses throughout the week. I can tell you that he's optimistic, but I'm going to tell you right now if his left arm was attached by a rubber band, he'd tell us he'd figure out a way to get it done, so we'll have to see him through practice this week."
Asked if he is "worried about playing on Sunday," Jones provided an answer that was similar to his responses last week.
"I'm just taking it day by day and doing my best to listen to the trainers, listen to the coaches and get healthy and prepare mentally and physically to play," Jones said. "That's my job right now, and that's just kind of where my focus is.
"It's sore and part of playing the game. But like I said, just focused on healing up and doing everything I can to prepare to play on Sunday." In response to a question moments later, Jones said, "the hamstring feels good."
Jones injured his hamstring in the third quarter of the Giants' road victory against the Bengals on Nov. 29. Backup quarterback Colt McCoy finished that game and took every snap when the Giants won in Seattle the following week. McCoy also played the final series against the Cardinals. As they did last week, the Giants will prepare both quarterbacks to play against Cleveland.
"We do that anyway," Judge said. "I think today will tell us a big part of the story, so we're going to go today in practice, be half of that fundamental drill that we do where it's about 50 minutes of practice in pads hitting, full speed, moving around, competitive. Then, we'll drop the pads off and finish with really more of a walk-through install to make sure we get some extra plays and take a little bit off our guys' legs this time of the year right there, so we'll kind of get the best of both worlds. We should get a good glimpse of Daniel today in terms of how he's progressed and then tomorrow will be a big day for him as well."
If Jones starts, it's possible McCoy could enter the game for specific situations.
"I have no problem with doing that," Judge said. "If there's a package that can help us with anybody on this team, I have no problem rolling guys through and doing whatever's best for the team. In terms of situationally with Colt, we always had a package for him and that goes into whether or not he has to go in by need or just by game plan to have a wrinkle and change it up.
"Again, I always take the attitude that if you're at the game, you're ready to play, and if they're at the game, have something for them to do. So that, to me, is all positions, that includes the quarterbacks. Obviously, you only play one quarterback, but that being said, I'm not shy to go ahead and have a package for another quarterback at the game like Colt if there's something that we think he can bring a little bit differently that might help us with the game plan."
*Rookie cornerback Darnay Holmes (knee) did not practice. Holmes missed the game against Arizona. Guard Kevin Zeitler (shoulder) was limited.
View photos from Wednesday's practice as the Giants gear up for a primetime matchup with the Browns.