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Giants will play rookie QB Davis Webb down the stretch


Coach McAdoo announced that Davis Webb will play at some point in the last five games of 2017:

The New York Giants today made a decision with the future in mind. They did the same in late April.

With the 23rd pick in the third round (87th overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft, the team selected Cal quarterback Davis Webb, paving the way for him possibly to become the successor to Eli Manning. Seven months to the day later, the timeline got pushed up.

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Coach Ben McAdoo announced Tuesday that Geno Smith will start the Giants' Week 13 game in Oakland, thus ending Manning's streak of 210 consecutive regular-season starts that began Nov. 21, 2004. Webb, who has been inactive for all 11 games on a 2-9 team, is expected to play sometime before the end of the season – if not this week.

"Coach McAdoo told me I could continue to start while Geno and Davis are given an opportunity to play," Manning said. "My feeling is that if you are going to play the other guys, play them. Starting just to keep the streak going and knowing you won't finish the game and have a chance to win it is pointless to me, and it tarnishes the streak. Like I always have, I will be ready to play if and when I am needed. I will help Geno and Davis prepare to play as well as they possibly can."

The news, as you might imagine, hit with the weight of Mount Rushmore, which Webb said Manning would be on for New York sports legends.

"Yeah, it's tough, especially when you have the best teammate that I've ever had in my short football career," Webb said late Thursday afternoon in front of his locker, which is directly to the right of Manning's and two to the right of Smith's. "That that happens to a guy like that – only six other guys have thrown for 50,000 yards. … He's been the face of the franchise. If you had a Mount Rushmore of not only New York Giants, but New York athletes, he'd be on it. "It doesn't affect really anything, we've just got to keep working and we're going to be great teammates for Geno [Smith] and we're excited to watch him play this Sunday against Oakland and this team is, too. So, we've all got each other's support and Eli's the best teammate I've ever had and it's sad, but at the same time we've got to regroup and get ready for a win."

When he does enter a game, it will be Webb's first action since the Giants' preseason finale on Aug. 31 against the Patriots. In three preseason games (he did not play in the second at Cleveland), Webb went 18 of 34 (52.9 percent) for 190 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.

Photos of rookie quarterback Davis Webb, the Giants' third-round draft choice

"It doesn't affect my preparation," Webb said of knowing he will play at some point in the final month of the season.

"I've said this before, I get up here pretty early and I stay here pretty dang late and I always prepare like if my opportunity came tomorrow, I'd be ready and I approached it that way since the day I got here. It doesn't really affect much, but right now, I'm going to be the best teammate I can be for E and Geno and we're going to try help us win our game on Sunday."

Webb played three seasons at Texas Tech before transferring for his final year to the University of California, which became only the second school to have quarterbacks selected in the first three rounds of back-to-back NFL Drafts (Jared Goff was selected No. 1 overall in 2016). In four combined seasons, Webb played in 35 games with 26 starts. He had 841 completions in 1,367 attempts (61.5 percent) for 9,852 yards, 83 touchdown passes, and 34 interceptions. But none in the NFL.

Webb was asked if there was one thing that Manning taught him that he will carry as he embarks on his own streak, whether that's one or 210 games.

His response: "Today, today was pretty big. The way he handled himself, the way he handled himself in front of his teammates, myself and Geno included, he was first class. He was very supportive, he's ready to help us win a game. There's so many things that I can talk about and we don't have enough time for that. I've learned something from him every day and I've really written them down and I've really taken upon myself to kind of – I've always kind of idolized Eli and there's so many quarterbacks I watched growing up, but to kind of be his teammate and see how he does every single day. His routine didn't change today and he's a heck of a teammate, he's the best quarterback in this franchise's history."

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