The New York Giants (4-11) returned to the field on Wednesday as they began on-field preparations for their Week 17 matchup with the Chicago Bears (5-10). It is the Giants' final road trip before they wrap up the 2021 season at home against the Washington Football Team.
Coach Joe Judge addressed the media before practice at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Here is everything you need to know:
🔹 The Giants have another decision to make this week at quarterback. Jake Fromm made his first NFL start on Sunday but was replaced in the third quarter by veteran Mike Glennon, who had started the previous three games after Daniel Jones suffered a season-ending neck injury. Judge said he expects both Fromm and Glennon to see time on Sunday in Chicago but will let the week play out before announcing a starter. They will both share reps during practice in the build-up to the game. "We'll prepare both guys, similar to last week," Judge said.
🔹 Judge was asked about being comfortable switching quarterbacks mid-game. "If that's what's best for the team," he said. There is no plan, for example, to play one in the first half and the other in the second half. "No, but as we go through the game plan, obviously we're going to bracket some different things together if we think one thing is better for one guy, one is better for the other guy," Judge said. "We'll see how they practice and how we'll go into the game."
🔹 Like the Giants, the Bears started their third different quarterback of the season last week. Nick Foles completed 24 of 35 passes for 250 yards and the game-winning touchdown to Jimmy Graham with 1:01 left in Seattle. The longtime Eagle is 3-0 against the Giants (2-0 as a starter) with eight touchdowns to two interceptions. Rookie Justin Fields, whom the Bears acquired in this year's draft by trading up with the Giants, has started the majority of the season but is dealing with an ankle injury. Chicago also has veteran Andy Dalton, who has faced the Giants four times throughout his career.
"They have three talented quarterbacks," Judge said. "All three have played this year. All three can make plays in different ways, whether it's the young guy Fields, who's obviously a guy who's got a strong arm, very athletic, very talented, has the ability to make a lot of big plays outside the pocket, does a good job keeping his eyes down the field and taking shots. You talk about Foles getting in the other day. He's obviously a very experienced guy, can push the ball down the field, very good arm. And obviously, Dalton is a very accomplished player in this league, really knows how to take the profit, move the ball down the field consistently."
🔹 The NFL and NFL Players Association agreed to modify their joint COVID-19 protocols on Tuesday, cutting the standard isolation period after a positive test from 10 days to five days regardless of vaccination status and contingent on symptoms. On Wednesday, the Giants placed defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, which means he will not be able to play on Sunday.
🔹 Judge said nose tackle Danny Shelton, offensive tackle Nate Solder, and defensive back Julian Love have a chance to come off the COVID list and play this week. "Now, all three of those guys would have the ability under the new protocols or guidelines to play in the game if their symptoms improve and they're able to play physically," Judge said. "Timetable-wise, all three would be able to play."
🔹 Meanwhile, defensive backs Keion Crossen and Adoree' Jackson and wide receiver John Ross have been activated and are in the COVID ramp-up period. "Keion's back in the building with us now. He's already started ramping up with the trainers. Adoree's back and he started ramping up with the trainers, as well. Ross is also getting back in the building and he'll be with the trainers, as well. All three of those guys are kind of in the ramp-up period. Today being a lighter day for us on the field on a Wednesday, they should all have the opportunity to build in and see if we can get them to the game."
🔹 Judge gave his customary scouting report of the upcoming opponent and noted at the top that Chicago is a balanced team that can extend drives. The Bears are tied for ninth in the league with 30 drives of 10+ plays. "You talk about this team, you start offensively with Matt [Nagy] being an offensive-minded head coach," Judge said. "When you talk about his team, one thing is they're balanced. They do a very good job being run and pass balanced. They're very committed to the run. You see a lot of effectiveness in how they can go ahead and stay with it and set up other aspects of their game."
🔹 Judge said cornerback Darnay Holmes, who has been on injured reserve with a rib injury since late November, will not play this week but "there's a small outside shot for next week."
🔹 The football world is mourning the loss of John Madden, and Judge shared his lessons learned from the legendary coach and broadcaster.
"One thing John Madden was great about when you really sit back and you listen to some of the things that he said throughout his career, and he talked about the importance of every game and every opportunity in the National Football League, and the value of the opportunity that we have to coach or play in this league. None of that should be taken for granted. I hear people all the time say 'meaningless games.' What is a meaningless game? Everyone here has worked very hard to be in this position, to play or coach in this league. We're only guaranteed or promised so many games a year. It's a privilege to have the opportunity to go out here and compete. There's no such thing as a meaningless game. There's wasted effort, there's wasted preparation, but there are no meaningless games."
Judge added, "It's funny because I have two young sons, they play the Madden football game all the time, as do a lot of our players, and you have to educate them sometimes. They don't really realize who the guy was, how accomplished a coach he was, how he really changed a lot of the broadcasting. But then even more important as I talked to the players this morning, the impact he had on the game by really the compassion and care he had for the players. Really it was looking after his own players when they were done playing and the impact he's had throughout pushing around the league for different rules being changed and things to take into consideration with the healthcare of players and taking care of the older players with benefits and the things that he's done for the players that sat in the seats looking at us today that – really his greatest impact was for the players on the field when he was already off the field himself."