BEREA, Ohio – Joe Judge's playtime decisions for the Giants' second preseason game will remain private until game time.
"I haven't made a decision on anybody right now," Judge said Friday in his final public comments before his team faces the Cleveland Browns at 1 p.m. Sunday in FirstEnergy Stadium.
Judge spoke to reporters before the Giants' second and final joint practice with the Browns here. When Judge was asked what he will do with his starters Sunday, Judge made it clear his collaboration with Cleveland coach Kevin Stefanski will extend beyond the workouts and into the game. And Judge is mindful the Giants are traveling on Tuesday for their joint practices Wednesday and Thursday with the New England Patriots, who they will host in the preseason finale on Aug. 29.
"I haven't decided yet," Judge said of his first teamers. "We're going to see how we come out today and I'm going to talk with Kevin in terms of his plans. We've talked earlier in the week about what they're intending to do and we're going to see how that's going to measure up and we'll evaluate our team after today. I don't see playing as a punishment specific to anything in terms of what a performance would dictate to us. I just want to make sure we keep our overall players' loads in consideration going into it because it'll also be a quick turnaround going from Cleveland, getting back home, training up to Boston and going against New England for a couple of days before playing the preseason game, which we're going to truly treat as more of that regular season dress rehearsal."
Check out must-see photos from the joint practices between the Giants and Browns in Cleveland.
Judge has consistently said that the third and final preseason game will be the one this month in which he will most closely mimic his regular-season deployment.
Stefanski might have provided a clue of what's in store for Sunday. He rested most of his key starters, including quarterback Baker Mayfield, in the Browns' preseason-opening 23-13 victory in Jacksonville.
"On Sunday playing the Giants, we will have a very similar plan that we had this last ballgame in terms of the guys that we rested," Stefanski said. "But I am going to work through that with the coaches coming off the field just to see what our depth chart looks like and that type of thing and the rotations, but that will be our plan on Sunday."
Four offensive linemen and wide receiver Darius Slayton were the only Giants' starters to play in the preseason opener last week vs. the Jets. As always in these situations, the most intriguing question is at quarterback. And if Judge is going to play Daniel Jones, he wasn't saying Friday.
And Jones wouldn't bite when asked if he needs work in the game.
"I think that's Coach's decision and I'm here to play and get ready," Jones said. "I'll be ready regardless of what he decides and that's my job."
Last year, the pandemic prompted the NFL to cancel the preseason, forcing the professional players to give it the old college try and start the season without the benefit of a practice game.
"I felt ready," Jones said. "You're playing against everyone else who didn't have a preseason. It kind of nullifies itself. I felt ready. I felt we had a good camp and like I said, my job is to be ready."
Jones just finished two competitive practices against a team that won a playoff game last season and is widely considered one of the AFC's best this year. Judge conceded that work will influence his decision regarding Jones' participation in the game.
"That could factor for a lot of players," Judge said, "based on what these two days look like in terms of the quality of work they got, who they're going against and whether or not we think it's going to be specifically beneficial for that player, or the team as a whole with building chemistry going forward for whatever the duration of the playing time would be in the game. But we're going to factor all that in. We're going to talk a lot about it today after practice. We'll probably make our final decision tomorrow morning."
If Jones gets the afternoon off, Mike Glennon will start again. The No. 3 quarterback, Brian Lewerke, joined the team Monday after Clayton Thorson suffered a concussion vs. the Jets.