New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is feeling better and hopes to play in Sunday’s crucial game against the Ravens in Baltimore.
Jones sat out the Giants’ 20-6 loss to Cleveland on Sunday night with hamstring and ankle injuries. It marked the second time in three games he was unable to play. New York (5-9) again went with backup Colt McCoy at quarterback.
Jones worked out on a limited basis Wednesday, but he sounded a little more upbeat about his chances of playing than the previous week.
“I think I’m closer every day and feeling better every day,” Jones said. “ I’m just trying to heal up as fast as I can. I am feeling better and need to keep doing what I’m asked to do, doing what I’m supposed to do, working with the trainers and making sure I keep going in that direction.”
Jones originally hurt his right hamstring in the second half against Cincinnati on Nov. 29. McCoy finished that game and played the next game against Seattle. Jones came back against the Cardinals on Dec. 13 and hurt his left ankle. The combination of the injuries caused him to sit last Sunday.
The Giants, who were in first place in the NFC East with four games left in the regular season, have dropped two straight. Washington (6-8) can clinch the division with a win over the Carolina Panthers (4-10) on Sunday and a Giants loss to Baltimore (9-5).
Giants coach Joe Judge will not make a decision on Jones until he watches him practice all week. All along, he has said Jones needs to be able to defend himself on the field if he is going to play.
Against the Cardinals, Jones did not run, something he does very well. He would not say whether he was told not to run.
“Look, in a perfect world, I’d love to have an answer as soon as possible,” Judge said. “I’m not going to go ahead and set a time mark on this. But we’ll come out of Friday with some kind of an answer. But we’re just going to throw him out there and let him practice, see how he does.”
The Giants are ranked 31st in the 32-team league on offense. They have scored 13 points in the last two games and have a combined three points in the first halves of the last three games.
After watching Jones in practice, safety Logan Ryan said he thought Jones had a chance to return this weekend.
He also said to expect a big effort from the Giants.
“Our team’s preparing to go win this game,” Ryan said. “How we feel and how we practice has no bearing on what Sunday’s going to be for us. At the end of the day, we’re going to go out there and put out a product to make the fans proud, to win the game just like a playoff game would be. It’s honestly win at all costs, win by any means, do your job, execute at a high level. That’s the secret I tell these guys of playoff football is you just got to go out there and do your job like you’ve been doing all 16 weeks and don’t make it bigger than it is.”
Judge did give Jones a vote of confidence for next season, saying the second-year quarterback has earned his respect.
“I think he’s demonstrated a level of toughness and leadership and knowledge on the field that gives us confidence to put him out there and build with Daniel,” Judge said. “I’m not going to point to one moment, but I can talk about this entire season of this guy has definitely earned my respect. I kind of made it very hard on him from the beginning in a lot of ways and he hasn’t blinked.”
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