4 takeaways from Wednesday's practice and media hour:
1. MARA ADDRESSES QB CHANGE
On Wednesday, John Mara addressed what have been two of his toughest days as the president and chief executive officer of a franchise that has been in his blood since 1925. The conversation, of course, centered around the short-term and long-term future of Eli Manning, who will not start this Sunday in Oakland for the first time in 210 consecutive regular-season games. Coach Ben McAdoo made the announcement yesterday that Geno Smith would start in Manning's place. "I had had a conversation with [general manager] Jerry [Reese] a week or two ago about – and I normally don't speak to the coach directly about which players are playing and which players are not playing. I'll have the conversation with Jerry," Mara said. "I mentioned to him a week or two ago – 'don't you think it's time that we start to get a look at these other quarterbacks at some point during the games' and he agreed. Said he had already had a conversation with Ben about that.
"Jerry called me on Monday afternoon, I was at a family function in Virginia, to tell me that Ben was going to be speaking to Eli to let him know that he was going to continue to start the game. He's going to start the game on Sunday, but that at some point Geno would come into the game. Tuesday morning, Jerry called me and said that Eli had informed Ben that 'if you're going to play Geno in the second half, you may as well just start him. It's not fair to him. It's not fair to me and I think that would be the best decision going forward.' And, he also wanted us to put out a statement announcing that. So, that's what we did."
To read the full transcript of Mara's comments, click here:
2. INJURY REPORT
Did not practice: LB Jonathan Casillas (neck/wrist), DT Damon Harrison (elbow), OL Justin Pugh (back)
Limited: LB B.J. Goodson (ankle)
Full: LB Calvin Munson (quad), WR Sterling Shepard (illness)
3. SHEPARD RETURNS TO PRACTICE
Migraines kept Shepard out of the last two games, but the second-year wide receiver was a full participant in today's practice, a good sign for his hopes to play on Sunday. Shepard, who missed another two games earlier in the season, was coming off a career game in which he had 11 receptions for 142 yards.
"It's just kind of crazy how it came about," Shepard said today. "A few days after the San Francisco game, it just kind of hit me hard and then I tried practicing all week with it without any contact and I just had to make the decision not to go in during the [Kansas City] game. But I've never really been through something like that."
4. RAIDERS PREP FOR NEW QB
While the Manning news continues to make national headlines, the Giants do still have a game to play this Sunday. They travel back west to face the 5-6 Oakland Raiders, who are looking to stay alive in the playoff hunt heading into the final month of the season.
While coach Jack Del Rio admitted there was a "little disbelief" when he heard the news about the Giants' quarterback change, his team is underway with preparations for Smith, who was 2-0 in his career against the Raiders as a starter for the Jets. Smith also relieved Ryan Fitzpatrick early in a 2015 meeting, completing 27 of 42 passes for 265 yards with two touchdowns to one interception in a 34-20 road loss.
"Well, obviously, we've been told that we're going to get Geno first," Del Rio said on a conference call with Giants reporters. "And so I think for us, we wanted to know as much as we can about all three players at that position."
Del Rio added: "I know that Geno's an athletic quarterback, been in the league for a while and has some experience and certainly is capable if you don't disrupt him."