Daniel Jones will start preseason finale; Eli to sit

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Eli Manning’s preseason is finished.

Coach Pat Shurmur today confirmed that the 16-year veteran quarterback will not play in the Giants’ preseason finale Thursday against the defending Super Bowl champion in Foxborough – where they will return exactly six weeks later for a Thursday night regular-season game.

Rookie Daniel Jones will start for the first time.

The Giants and Patriots will meet in the preseason finale for the 15th consecutive year. This is the fifth consecutive year and seventh time overall Manning will not participate. He last played in the game in 2014.

After Thursday, Manning will have missed 13 of the Giants’ 65 preseason game during his record tenure with the team. Ten of those absences will have been due to a coach’s decision.

Manning played just 28 snaps in three series this month – the Giants’ first offensive possessions in victories against the Jets, Chicago and Cincinnati. He completed nine of 13 passes for 86 yards and one touchdown for a passer rating of 113.0.

Shurmur said that is enough work to prepare Manning for the regular-season opener in Dallas on Sept. 8.

“I think he has,” Shurmur said. “He’s done a lot of really good stuff out here. He’s much more comfortable with what we want to do on offense this year than last year. I feel like as he gets the work he needs in practice, the game work he’s gotten will help him be ready for the Cowboys.”

Jones, the first-round draft choice who is the top backup behind Manning, has excelled in a reserve role, completing 25 of 30 throws (83.3%) for 369 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions for a rating of 140.1.

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*Second-year pro Kyle Lauletta has been another impressive young quarterback. He has connected on 15 of 22 passes for 206 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions for a rating of 128.2.

As a rookie fourth-round draft choice last year, Lauletta completed 17 of 35 passes (48.6%) for 194 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. His passer rating was 51.4. he did not complete any of his five passes in his only regular-season appearance, in Washington on Dec. 9.

“I think he’s had a really good camp. Much better than a year ago,” Shurmur said. “I think he’s improving. I like the way he has competed. There’s been a lot of conversation about the guy we picked this year (Jones). There are many ways guys could go with that, but he’s come out every day, competed and gotten better. It’s a credit to him.”

*Cornerback DeAndre Baker, the last of the Giants’ three first-round draft choices this year, participated in practice team drills today for the first time since spraining his knee on Aug. 11. Baker had worked in individual drills for the last week.

“It was good,” Shurmur said. “He was out there again. I think for the most part he looked pretty good. He needs to get his sea legs back. We’ll see how he responds here in the afternoon after being out there, and we’ll see how much more we can give him tomorrow.”

*Another corner, Sam Beal, has had very limited work because of a hamstring injury, but was on the field today taking part in individual drills.

“He was out there today for the first time,” Shurmur said. “He’s closer. We’ll just have to see where he’s at as we move forward.

“It feels good,” Beal said. “Getting my feet back under me is a good thing.”

Does Beal feel an urgency to return to do more before the Giants must cut 36 players from their roster by Saturday?

“No,” he said. “I trust my athletic ability and I trust the trainers to get me out there as soon as they can. I’m ready.”

Beal spent the entire 2018 season on injured reserve after undergoing shoulder surgery following his selection in the third round of the supplemental draft and has yet to appear in a game for the Giants.

“I’m not going back on IR,” Beal said. “I’m not. I will be good before I go back there.”

Would Shurmur like to see Beal play in New England?

“I’d like to see them all play,” he said. “We’ll just have to see where he’s at. It would be good for him to play if he’s healthy enough. But we don’t want to put him out there too soon.

“I’m not frustrated by it. Obviously, being able to compete through training camp - he’s a second-year player, but last year was like year zero. This is year one. The work that he would have gotten had he been healthy would have been very beneficial. … I’d like to see him get healthy and get on the field. That’s what I’d like to see.”

*Wide receiver Golden Tate (concussion) and linebacker Josiah Tauaefa (shoulder) wore yellow non-contact vests over their practice jerseys.

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