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Optimism for Daniel Jones; Colt McCoy stays ready

DANIEL-JONES

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Joe Judge said Wednesday he was "optimistic" when asked for an update on Daniel Jones, but it will be at least another two days before he knows if his quarterback will play Sunday at home against the Arizona Cardinals.

Jones missed the Giants' 17-12 victory in Seattle three days ago because of a hamstring injury he suffered the previous week in Cincinnati.

"We're going to give him an opportunity today to move around the field," Judge said. "We're still in that point of the week where I haven't seen him do anything physical yet this week since the last week really. We'll see him move around today. We're optimistic. I know he's going to tell us everything we want to hear. We've got to again use our eyes instead of our ears with Daniel, so we're going to put him out there today and make sure we give him a chance to progress. Today's a walkthrough, tomorrow we'll be on the field moving around and then Friday will be a big day for us to kind of make a final decision hopefully going into the weekend."

In Jones' absence, the Giants relied on their ground game to move the ball. They ran for a season-high 190 yards on 31 carries. Colt McCoy stepped in for Jones and managed the game well. He overcame an early interception to complete 13 of 22 passes for 105 yards, including a six-yard touchdown to running back Alfred Morris.

Most importantly, the Giants won a game that kept them in first place with four games remaining. But in the 11th season of a career spent primarily as a backup, McCoy knows he'll return to the sideline as soon as Jones is able to play.

"I think if he feels like he can go, he'll go," McCoy said. "He's a competitor, he's a captain. He wants to be out there so bad. This is killing him. I think he'll just see how he feels."

And how does Jones feel?

"I'm feeling good. I'm feeling better," said Jones, who was officially limited in practice today. "Just trying to get this thing healed up and hopefully back out there. … I think it's a daily process. I'm working every day to get better and to heal it up so I can get back out there. I'm not sure a percentage. Just working every day to improve."

Jones was circumspect as always when asked his expectations for Sunday.

"We have a little bit of time here at the end of the week," Jones said. "My job is to do everything I can to get it ready to play. Listen to what the trainers are telling me. Follow the program that's been laid out. Just try to take every day and work to get it better and see where we are."

One thing Jones will admit – McCoy was right, watching the game instead of playing it was three hours of torture.

"It's tough not playing, it's tough missing time," Jones said. "I've got to focus on healing up. I've got to focus on what I can do. Right now, that's working every day to get back out there. Continue to study like I'm playing, like I did last week. That's what I've got to focus on. It's tough not playing. I think anyone would agree with me there. I think you want to be out there, you want to be out there with your teammates."

If Jones continues improving, he very well could be on Sunday.

*The NFL today announced that the Giants home game against the Cleveland Browns on Dec. 20 has been flexed to Sunday night on NBC. The game will have postseason implications for both conferences, while the originally scheduled prime time game, San Francisco at Dallas, matched two teams at the bottom of their respective divisions.

Safety Logan Ryan, who played numerous important night games in his seven seasons with New England and Tennessee, didn't exactly overreact to the news.

"It means absolutely nothing," said Ryan, who is more concerned with how the defense will stop Kyler Murray and Cardinals offense.

Judge also essentially said the kickoff time change for a game that will be played in 11 days is meaningless, but not as stridently as Ryan.

"I think just the focus has to always be on what we're doing right now and the process of getting ready for the Cardinals," Judge said. "The fact that the game was flexed, to be completely transparent and honest with you, we'll play whenever. We're so fortunate to be able to go out there – and we talked about it as a team today – we're fortunate to be able to go out there and play football. There was a period this summer where we're all sitting there on phone calls and talking to each other of, 'Are we going to have a season? Is it going to start late? How are we going to get this thing going?' To be at the point we are in the season right now, we're just very fortunate to be playing. But in terms of the pressure and the noise outside, you just have to keep your focus on what you're doing immediately."

*Three Giants did not participate in the walkthrough, including middle linebacker Blake Martinez, the quarterback of the defense. He was joined by tackle Matt Peart (ankle) and cornerback Madre Harper (knee).

Judge was asked if Blake will face the Cardinals.

"I have to be fair to Blake and see where he's at," Judge said. "I hope so. He was in meetings with us today, had a smile on his face and laughing, so you can always cut it with Blake. But obviously, guys are coming out of games, they're banged up, they're sore. Today being a walkthrough day is really part of the recovery from our trip going out west, so that should allow some guys with some nicks and bumps to do some things in practice. But when we get out there tomorrow, it'll kind of give us a better look in terms of guys that are dinged and bumped up in terms of how they can move around."

*Rookie cornerback Darnay Holmes (knee) was also limited.

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