EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Joe Judge sounded like a physician leading medical students through their daily rounds - but without providing the same detailed information - when he spoke to reporters Monday on a Zoom call.
Several Giants players were injured in the team's 44-20 loss to the Cowboys in Dallas and updates on their conditions are what inquiring minds on the call wanted from the coach. But Judge is loath to provide details regarding diagnosis and prognosis, so he largely stuck to the basics.
The latest injury rundown, six days before the 1-4 Giants host the 4-1 Los Angeles Rams:
*Quarterback Daniel Jones is in the NFL concussion protocol after his helmet collided with that of linebacker Jabril Cox and then hit the artificial turf on a second quarter run near the Cowboys' goal line.
Players in the protocol have no set timetable for their return to practice or game action. Before they can step on the field, players are closely monitored and must complete a five-step, return-to-participation protocol. No one can skip a step. Players advance to the next progression only when they are symptom-free. And the decision regarding their return is not made by the team, but by an independent neurologist.
"We won't know anything officially until later in the week," Judge said. "He's got a series of steps by league mandate he has to go through, so we'll wait patiently and get the other guys ready as we wait on him. Hopefully, he's out there to play. Won't have a definite answer on that until much later in the week."
If Jones cannot play, he will be replaced by Mike Glennon, who completed 16 of 25 passes for 196 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions after Jones was carted off the field.
*Judge said running back Saquon Barkley (ankle) and wide receiver Kenny Golladay (knee) were being examined as he was speaking with reporters. "We are hopeful they dodged a couple of bullets," Judge said, "but we'll kind of wait and see what the official diagnosis is for them."
*Judge would not confirm a projected timetable for Barkley to return to action.
"I can't confirm a timetable," Judge said. "In terms of the X-rays that came back, (it was) better news than it could've been for us, so it was a little bit of a sigh of relief with a couple of things just knowing the player and what he's battled through. He's obviously with the doctors today. In terms of the timetable, we'll find out a little today, but ultimately it will take the next day or so of him moving around and doing some things with the trainers and see what it will look like for this weekend or maybe the following week."
Barkley's ankle twisted substantially after he landed on the foot of Dallas cornerback Jourdan Lewis. He was able to reach the bench area unaided but was soon carted off the field. Before he was, the game telecast showed his left ankle had ballooned to the approximate size of a baseball. Judge was asked if the swelling had receded.
"I have not put my eyes on his ankle specifically myself," he said. "From what I've heard from the doctors, I know he had to get another check-up today to kind of take a look at it. This is going to be something I would say, I wouldn't expect him to be full speed on Wednesday, but we'll see how it kind of loosens up and starts moving. There's different things we can do for this as far as through treatment and all that and see how it gets going in the right direction.
"I'm not saying he's going to be out there or not out there. I don't have a final answer. He's with the doctors. I'm just saying, from what I know right now, I would not expect him to be anything different for Wednesday. So, whether he's out there or not, I couldn't give you an answer at this moment right now."
Barkley was hurt just as he seemed to be re-establishing himself as one of the NFL's best backs after missing almost the entire 2020 season due to a serious knee injury suffered in Week 2. He had gained 126 yards from scrimmage and scored two touchdowns last week in New Orleans. Barkley was replaced yesterday by Devontae Booker, who scored both of the Giants' touchdowns.
Check out the best photos from the New York Giants' Week 5 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys.
*First-round draft Kadarius Toney had arguably the game's best performance, setting a Giants rookie record with 189 receiving yards on 10 catches. But he also hurt his ankle and it's no certainty he will face the Rams.
"He was at the doctor when we went through our squad meeting today," Judge said. "We'll see where that comes out right there. Again, I don't think – I don't want to go ahead and put anything out there, but I don't think it's anything really significant in terms of season-ending. We'll see how it affects him immediately in the future for this week. I know this is a guy that throughout the day yesterday was kind of going up and down a little bit with that ankle, but he was definitely fighting through a lot of things until a point where he was jumping back up to get back in the game, so tough kid."
Toney indicated he plans to play through the injury.
"I'm good, just sticking to the plan as far as listening to the trainers. Judge will keep you guys updated if you have any more questions with that."
*Left tackle Andrew Thomas was in uniform but did not play for the first time in his 21-game career. Nate Solder moved from right to left tackle and second-year pro Matt Peart started his first game this season on the right side.
"In terms of Andrew, we're optimistic to go ahead and get him out there with us and get him rolling," Judge said. "We put him in uniform yesterday – it was more of, like I said yesterday, more of an emergency type of deal. We had a plan going in to play the other guys first. He's been improving as time went on."
Moments later, responding to a question about Peart, Judge said, "(the) plan would be to play all three guys if all three are healthy and keep moving these guys on through the rotation."
*An MRI today confirmed that rookie cornerback Rodarius Williams suffered a torn right ACL yesterday.
Judge hinted at the seriousness of the injury on his call when he said, "He's getting some final checkups right now and maybe we'll have an announcement for you guys later today. We'll see where it goes, but I'm hopeful for the player that it's not season-ending."
Unfortunately, it is.