EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The three quarterbacks currently wearing a Giants uniform were together today when they exited the Quest Diagnostics Training Center for the practice field. Brian Lewerke, who is on the practice squad, was first. He was closely followed by Mike Glennon, second on the depth chart and the potential starter for the Giants' home game Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams. Just behind him was Daniel Jones, the clear No. 1, who is in the NFL concussion protocol after he was injured three days ago in Dallas.
"We just saw Daniel walking outside," a reporter said to coach Joe Judge, "what can he do?"
"He can walk," Judge said, smiling.
The man has clearly retained his sense of humor. But he is very serious about the health of his quarterback. Jones, per the protocols, was limited to light physical work with the training staff as Glennon assumed the heavy load in practice.
"He can just observe today," Judge said of Jones. "Right now, he can just observe. He's in meetings. He can participate in meetings. He can be out here at practice, watch, stand behind, things of that nature. That's all he can do right now."
But with the game four days away, Judge said Jones could potentially play on Sunday.
"I would say from all the information we have, yes," Judge said. "If he's cleared medically, it would be an option.
"I'd say he's kind of on track with everything right now. He's with the trainers. He can't walk through or practice or anything with us today. He's in the meetings, he's participating in that part. We'll go through the rest of the week and kind of see where that all leads."
It could lead to the field on game day, even if Jones can't practice or his time on the field is very limited this week.
"It'd be a decision I'd have to look into in terms of where I think he is physically and mentally for the game," Judge said. "That'd be something we have in consideration. … I would not rule that out, no."
But the decision might not be Judge's to make. The NFL very strictly monitors players who have suffered a concussion, as Jones did in the second quarter of the Giants' 44-20 loss in AT&T Stadium. If an independent neurological consultant deems Jones unfit to play, he will not be in uniform against the Rams.
"I'm going to wait on all the deadlines on when he'd be on the field or not based on when he gets cleared for step-by-step," Judge said. "But right now, he's moving along with the trainers and medical process. There's a lot of things that go into this in terms of the independent doctors have to also weigh in on decisions, so we're preparing fully for both quarterbacks."
Glennon is a nine-year veteran who, like a well-rounded baseball pitcher, has experience as a starter and a reliever. In Dallas, he completed 16 of 25 passes for 196 yards, a three-yard touchdown to Devontae Booker, and two interceptions.
"That's only the second time in my career that I've had to go in mid-game for an injury," Glennon said. "All those times, you kind of prepare to get ready for it and, really, it's rarely happened, particularly for me. But I felt comfortable out there, I felt like I was prepared. So, it was good to see all the work I've put in throughout my career, throughout the duration of the week, come to fruition."
Glennon is playing for his sixth NFL team. He is 6-21 as a starter, a role he held most recently in the final five games of the 2020 season with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
"I'm very confident in myself," Glennon said. "I haven't started per se a ton of games in this league, but I've started enough, I started five games last year. Including as much as I played the other day, that's a good bit of games in the past year. I'm extremely confident in myself, confident in the guys around me. We threw the ball around well when we got out there, so I feel ready to go."
The Giants are 2-2 without Jones since he became the full-time starter in Week 3 of his 2019 rookie season. In December of that year, Eli Manning went 1-1 in his final two career starts after Jones suffered a high ankle sprain. Late last season, Jones had a hamstring and then an ankle injury and the Giants defeated Seattle on the road and lost to Cleveland at home when Colt McCoy started.
If Glennon must step in against the Rams, the Giants will operate much as they do when Jones plays.
"Mike's a smart quarterback," Judge said. "Mike did a good job last week. We didn't change any of the game plan. He went in and we just went ahead and played, and that's what he's here for. His job is to be prepared. He does a good job of being prepared. I'm very pleased with how this guy works. He uses every rep he gets to maximize and be prepared. In terms of is it game plan A or game plan B? No, it's the game plan, then let's go ahead and play."
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