EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Joe Judge hopes to go to bed tonight knowing if quarterback Daniel Jones will be able to play Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.
"In a perfect world, I'd like to make the decision before game day," Judge said this morning. "I'd like to know tonight at the latest for myself. If we have to go into tomorrow and do something a little bit extra with the trainers, then so be it. Normally, I like not to do things with guys on Saturdays if we don't have to."
As is custom, Judge's daily Zoom call with reporters was held prior to practice. He will not speak again publicly before the game.
Jones practiced fully today for the first time today since injuring his hamstring in Cincinnati 12 days ago. Middle linebacker Blake Martinez – essentially the defensive quarterback – left last week's game in Seattle late in the fourth quarter with a back injury. He did not practice today after being limited yesterday. Both are listed as questionable on the team's final injury report of the week.
"Today is going to be a tell-tale sign for both of those guys, to be honest with you," Judge said. "I'm not going to try to put some kind of percentage on it. I'm optimistic on both of those guys because of number one, the way they're working, the way they're responding to this point with the trainers. We have to trust our medical team. I know both guys are going to do everything they can to be on the field. Look, we're planning and preparing right now with plans for both having both of those guys, as well as not having both of those guys. That's something that it's our job to do and make sure we can play accordingly."
View photos from practice at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center as the team preps for the Arizona Cardinals.
Last Friday, Jones was listed as doubtful and two days later was inactive for the Giants' 17-12 victory against the Seahawks in Seattle. Colt McCoy played the entire game and will start again if Jones does not play against the Cardinals.
But Jones has been on the field this week and Judge again expressed positiveness that he will be there Sunday.
"We ramped him up a little bit (in practice Thursday), we put him through a series of drills," Judge said. "He's been getting better every day, he's working very hard with the trainers. Coming out of practice yesterday, there was some progress made. We had a long talk with him after practice, long talk with him this morning again. We're going to kind of put him through it again today, see how his body responds to what it was yesterday.
"Look, I'm fairly optimistic. At the same time, there are a ways to go and we have to be fair to him. I'm going to talk to the trainers, make sure the medical team and the coaching staff are on the same page and that we do the right thing by this guy."
Judge stressed that Jones' practice performance is only part of the equation.
"I'm more concerned with just how his body responds in terms of the overall soreness and how his body responds physically," Judge said, "to make sure this isn't going to go ahead and roll over, that one day over another, that are going to stack up and it's going to be something negative on Sunday. We'll see how he moves today relative to yesterday. I don't necessarily think it necessarily has to be better. I just want to make sure that it's functional and that he can protect himself."
Martinez is under the same guidelines. He did not practice Wednesday but returned to the field yesterday. Judge said he came out of that practice "fairly well."
"He had a walkthrough on Wednesday, did mostly everything yesterday in practice for the most part," Judge said. "There were some things we kind of held him out of in terms of some of the more violent drills I guess you could say as far as hitting the shields and pads and things. Other than that, the guy went through practice for the most part for us, had a good day. Checked with him this morning. We're going to go ahead and see how he is in the training room in a minute. Those guys just broke meetings. A lot of those guys are going in for a little extra treatment before practice. We'll see where he's at today."
If Martinez can't play, safety Logan Ryan will get the defensive calls from coordinator Patrick Graham and communicate them to the players on the field.
"I think it does say a lot about how we trust Logan and his ability to communicate with the defense," Judge said. "He's definitely a signal caller for us out there. The other thing about that is he's very consistent as far as being on the field for us in multiple packages. Very rarely do we take Logan off the field. In terms of giving the secondary helmet to Logan, a lot of that just fits in terms of this guy is always out there for us. The other thing about him is he's very intelligent, he's articulate. He has command in front of the huddle to communicate. He's also is the one, in terms of if they use tempo, if we have to make a call before Pat gets it in. Maybe if the headset, which does happen at times, goes out. Or maybe it's checking the sideline getting signals. We just know that he can do it."
*Aside from Jones and Martinez, three rookies are on the injury report. Cornerback Madre Harper (knee) was declared out of the game. Tackle Matt Peart (ankle) and cornerback Darnay Holmes (knee) are questionable.