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Quotes: Coach Brian Daboll, WR Darius Slayton OT Andrew Thomas

Head Coach Brian Daboll

Q. What's the status of (quarterback) Daniel (Jones) and the injury?

A: We got the MRI back; he has a torn ACL. That's all the injury news that I have so far today.

Q. Is that the extent of the damage? Everything else is kind of intact, the MCL and the meniscus, or do they have to go in and figure that out?

A: I have that he underwent an MRI, and he has a torn ACL.

Q: Where do you move forward now at the quarterback position?

A: Well, we have (quarterback Tommy) DeVito. (Quarterback Matt) Barkley's on the practice squad. We have been back for less than 12 hours, so, I'll have some meetings today with (General Manager) Joe (Schoen) as the day goes on, and we'll see where it goes.

Q. Would you expect to stick with Tommy at this point? He's the next in line, or is that open for consideration also?

A: I think Tommy did a good job, but again I'm not going to give you one thing and it's a different thing. I have confidence in Tommy. He's done a good job. But I'll sit down and talk with Joe and figure out what's next.

Q. What about (quarterback) Tyrod (Taylor)? We never asked you about him going on IR. Is that a season-long thing? Are you optimistic that he could come back this year?

A: I can't give you that answer. I can't tell you how he's going to heal or things like that. So, we'll see.

Q. There were obviously two plays on which Daniel got hurt, and with the quarter break in between them. Can you just kind of take us through what happened during that quarter break, and I guess if there was any medical advice to give him a little bit of time to check it out? Did he do any further damage by playing that first snap of the second quarter?

A: No. Same thing I said last night: he came over, started running back and forth, loosening it up, told our guys he was good, and then went back out there and obviously on that drop, went down again. That's what it was.

Q. (Safety Xavier) McKinney made some comments last night about how he wasn't sure the leaders are being heard. It seems to be more defensive-minded, I've read from the story. Are you worried at all about that aspect of things and how much are you going to lean on your leaders at this time? Obviously, the playoffs don't seem to be a real vision, so how do you lean on your leaders?

A: We do the same thing every week since we've gotten here. We have good communication. We meet every week. Good talks, go through situations, things around the building. So, very comfortable with the leadership that we have, how we communicate with them and how they communicate with us.

Q: Would you disagree with Xavier on that point that leaders aren't being heard?

A: I'd say the meetings we have every week, which we have every Friday, the captains' meetings, are good, productive meetings.

Q. (Guard) Justin Pugh made an interesting point last night. He talked about when he was on the Giants and they started 0-6, and you find out about players at times like this. Do you believe in that? He also said that players have to understand that maybe the most important thing is they're playing for their jobs every week. Is that something you relay to your players?

A: I just focus on each week. I've been about in every situation you could be in the NFL. Been in a bunch of championship games, been in some losing seasons. I think that consistency is important. Clear expectations are important. You go out there and you do everything you can do to win a week. Our guys are putting everything they've got into it. The coaches are putting everything they've got into it. The players are putting everything they've got into it. We're not getting the results we want. Ultimately, it's a results business. So, those are definitely things that we work on each week, we'll continue to work on, and focus on doing the best job we can each week.

Q: Were those head-scratching comments to you made by McKinney, or do you, even if you can't share, have an idea of what he's talking about, what he's referencing?

A: I'd say, look, the meetings that we have, we've had them for two years, are good, productive meetings. I'd say the communication from myself to the coordinators to the players, and back from the players, I feel very comfortable with those.

Q: We saw it happen here in 2021 before you arrived – like you said, you've been everywhere, so, you've probably seen it happen too – where the defense – I don't know if turned is the right word – clearly felt like the offense wasn't holding its part of the bargain and it created friction. Is that something that is real? Is that a real concern from places you've been, and how do you guard against it?

A: No, I think we have good players that are good teammates that support one another, and I'm confident in those guys.

Q: When you're 2-7, guys are frustrated, and we've seen here seasons go off the rails. I'm sure you have in your past. Is that something you have to be more heightened on, making sure you don't lose the locker room?

A: No, I feel comfortable with my relationship with the players and the communication that we have on a daily basis, the expectations, and we've just got to continue to work and get better.

Q: I'm curious about the kicker decision and how that played out. You signed (kicker) Randy (Bullock) to the practice squad, then you signed (kicker) Cade (York), and then you had Randy on game day. I'm just curious how you kind of came to that decision.

A: We thought it was best for the team.

Q: You used a roster spot on Cade. Why? If you thought Randy was best for the team, why even sign Cade?

A: Bring in a young kicker that we thought has some potential off the practice squad, put him on the active. We think he's got some potential, but we thought going with Randy was the best thing for the team.

Q: With (kicker Graham) Gano, he's obviously not a young guy. Is there any concern about his future, having an injury like this at this stage?

A: I'm not there. I'm focused on the guys that are here. Graham obviously will have surgery, but hopeful that he'll be back and good to go.

Q: I've been around for a while, and any ACL that I've seen is year-ending, but I don't think you've spelled that out. Is this year-ending?

A: Yeah. It's year-ending.

Q: On the sneak play, did you think of challenging that? Because it seemed it was close.

A: I talked to the guys upstairs, and they had a good look at it. Didn't think it would get overturned.

Q: Obviously he's a pro, but do you say anything here to (running back) Saquon (Barkley) about that he's going to now be—I think you used him in 30 carries the other day in the first game when Tyrod got hurt. His workload is obviously going to be quite magnified here in a contract year. Do you have to say anything to him about shouldering the load here?

A: No. Saquon is a great teammate. He's a good guy to work with. He'll do anything to help the team.

Q: Just to clarify, will Daniel be getting surgery, and do you have any details on that?

A: All I know is he's got a torn ACL right now. So, obviously, surgery will ensue, but I don't know when that would be.

Q: One of the things that everybody likes about Daniel is how even keeled he is. You can really never tell whether he's high or low. How has he handled these last 12 hours, however long it's been since he left the game? Have you had a chance to actually have a good conversation with him about what's going on?

A: I talked to him obviously on the plane before he got the MRI, and then really, I just saw him for 30 seconds here before I came into this press conference. He was having a meeting with the doctors, just interrupted and told me what it was. I gave him a hug, and that's my extent of it right now.

Q: Would you describe him as down? I know he's hard to read.

A: It was 20 seconds. He's in there having a discussion with the physicians right now.

Q: The repercussions of this is that people are going to talk about the future of your quarterback position moving forward. How much does this change the outlook to you at all?

A: Of the quarterback position?

Q: Of your quarterback position future-wise. The future.

A: My focus is on getting DeVito ready to go, getting Barkley up to speed and doing as good as a job we can do with the guys that we're going to have out there.

Q: The reason I say that is because Daniel now has a pretty extensive injury history. How much does that concern you that now he has the knee on top of the neck on top of some of the other past things?

A: I understand the question. I just heard he had an ACL here 10 minutes ago, so my focus is on just being there for the young man. I know he'll do everything he can do to get back ready to play.

Wide Receiver Darius Slayton

Q. Obviously, the question of the day – what is your reaction to the news about (quarterback) Daniel (Jones)?

A: It's pretty disappointing. You don't ever want to see any of your teammates go down but for me personally, being here my whole career with DJ and kind of just the natural connection a receiver and quarterback have. Obviously, for me I think it's a bit personal.

Q. Obviously, it's always a little bit hard for us to read Daniel's emotions, you can do it much better. How would you describe him in the last 12 hours or so?

A: He's a competitor, you know? Even though we didn't know until this morning that he officially tore his ACL but those moments as a player, obviously, the thought goes through your head and the first emotion is devastation. We all work extremely hard to make the best out of the 17 opportunities we get every year to play the game we love and having that slip away is not easy for any of us to deal with. He's a very resilient person, a very strong individual – but he's also not alone in this. We'll have his back, we'll support him and be with him through this process.

Q. You we're here in 2021 when he had the six-game neck injury and the offense really struggled to move the ball with the two backup quarterbacks. Is that a concern that that can happen again? And how do you guys go about preventing something similar to what happened at the end of that season?

A: I think we have capable guys. I feel like (quarterback Tommy) DeVito did a good job coming in and played to the best of his ability. Obviously, we already have (quarterback) Matt Barkley, he's a veteran quarterback on the roster and has been in Buffalo so he's very familiar with the system. I'm sure whoever it is that they put out there will go out there and do a good job.

Q. Obviously, you hope that this doesn't turn into that type of season but take us back to 2021. How hopeless was it when you guys were playing out that string there? Obviously, the quarterback play, the offensive play was not very good to be QB1.

A: It was a bit of a different predicament then because there was a lot of other things outside of that. Our staff was at risk that season, obviously, both our – DJ and then (former Giants quarterback) Mike Glennon was our backup ended up going down. Then, we brought in (Commanders quarterback) Jake Fromm, from wherever we brought him at the time, basically off the couch. We were in a bit of a different predicament then, in a different space then than we (are) now as a team. Like I said, I think DeVito played pretty well yesterday with the time he had and will continue to build and get better. And Matt Barkley has been in the system for a long time so he's in a bit different predicament than even the quarterbacks we had back then where we're trying to learn something, whereas he already knows. I think the guys that we have will be able to do a good job for us going forward.

Q. Bigger picture. You guys are 2-7, you have this devastating injury, like you said, how do you keep things in the locker room from going off the rails? I'm sure you've seen that with some of your seasons here where things have gone in that direction.

A: Stay together. At the end of the day, it's a team and nobody is going out here and fighting these games by themselves. We have to stay together as a unit and continue to fight. Even if the odds may not be in our favor or whatever, but at the end of the day, our job is to go out there and play to the best of our ability and that's what we have to do.

Q. You've been one of Daniel's biggest supporters and you see all the stuff and you've responded to a lot in the past about what's out there about him. The natural thing now is that people are going to basically replace him, right? What do you say to that idea and how this affects you guys moving forward in the future?

A: You can't control what people say. Quite frankly, people have been trying to get myself and him and multiple others out of here since we've been here. That hasn't stopped us before and it won't stop us now. Like I said earlier, he's a resilient human being, he's a good football player and at the end of the day, he'll be back healthy again one day and he'll be back playing pro football somewhere, hopefully here, and I look forward to that day.

View photos from the Giants' Week 9 matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Offensive Tackle Andrew Thomas

Q. I guess to start off with the (quarterback) Daniel Jones news, how are you feeling about that? How do you process something like that happening to your quarterback, your teammate, and friend?

A: Yeah, it's devastating. One of my teammates, one of my good friends, it sucks to hear news like that with injuries like that. Some stuff that you can't control, so just do my best to try to uplift him during the situation, help him out and wish him the best with the recovery.

Q. Were you able to talk with him after the game or after the injury or anything?

A: I talked to him at halftime just for a little bit. Just like a few motivating words, but when I get some more time, because I know a lot of people are probably on him right now but when I get some time I'll probably go over there and check on him.

Q. When you were talking with him at halftime, what was he like and what do you tell him in that situation?

A: Well, it was mid-game, at halftime. I was just checking on him because the doctors were over there actually testing him and I was just trying to uplift him in that time – it wasn't much.

Q. How did you feel like you came out of the game? I think you played every snap. How did you feel like you came out health was? How sure were you that you were going to play or was it really a pregame thing?

A: I knew I was going to play, I want to say it was after Friday's practice, so Saturday morning was when I knew. Then, coming out of the game, I feel good today. Moving around pretty good, I did my lift when we got back, so I'm feeling pretty good.

Q. (Safety) Xavier McKinney said after the game that he doesn't feel like the captains are necessarily being heard by the leadership and even I guess by some of the other non-captain teammates. I'm curious as a captain who is in those captain meetings, do you feel like you are being heard or do you have any idea what Xavier's frustrations might be referencing?

A: Yeah, I would say you have to ask Xavier that. I don't know exactly where he's coming from or where he's feeling that, but for me personally, I think we do a good job just being able to communicate with the staff. Anything we need or any of our frustrations or whatever, any questions we have, I feel like they are pretty open.

Q. Do you feel at all like when you look at the season as a whole, you guys are a little bit snake bit as far as injuries go this year? It just seems like the whole offensive line, Daniel, (running back) Saquon (Barkley), I mean it's just been a crazy year.

A: Yeah, we've had a lot of injuries. It sucks but it's just part of the game, there are a lot of teams that deal with those things, so we've just got to find a way to overcome them. I know it's not easy, but we've got to figure out something.

Q. I mean obviously 2-7 without your quarterback, I mean it seems like it would be easy to give up. How do you avoid that feeling?

A: I would say it's easy if you are not a true competitor. I know the guys in the locker room, I know speaking for myself that we love the game of football, so obviously it's not the greatest situation as far as playoffs, and things down the road but we are just focusing on getting better and putting the best tape we can out for the next game.

Q. Along those lines, as one of the leaders, do you have to be extra vigilant maybe in the locker room as far as making sure guys aren't kind of going off track and getting frustrated, letting it leak into other things?

A: Honestly, I would say the adversity almost brings us together. Now we've got DJ's injury, those type of things that bring us together because we want to play for one another, play for the guys that are hurt. Especially the offensive line group. I think we are used to doing that because that's just how our position is. We have to look out for each other. One guy goes down, it's the next man mentality so I think we'll do a good job of doing that.

Q. From the outside, there is kind of some obvious parallels to the end of the 2021 season when DJ was hurt, and your quarterback situation was in a flux. What was it like just going through that stretch at the end of that season?

A: If I recall, I don't remember exactly what our record was, but I know having your starting quarterback out is never ideal. It was a similar situation – like we had some injuries on the offensive line, some moving parts and that was around when I started to turn around as a player. I feel like, especially for our young guys, every snap you get is an opportunity to get better, so we can use this as a time to get better, hone in our crafts and put the best product on the field.

Q. It's almost like that mindset you had is the one guys need to have like these games aren't meaningless obviously because for you it helped you get to where you are now?

A: Right.


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