NFL roundup: Latest league news from Thursday, Oct. 14

Sports 14 October, 2021 - 11:52am

Daniel Jones' absence might only end up being a little more than two quarters of football.

Giants coach Joe Judge told reporters Jones is progressing through the concussion protocol after sustaining a concussion in New York's Week 5 loss to Dallas. Jones took first-team reps in the portion of practice open to media members Thursday. The QB was officially listed as limited in his return to practice.

"At this point, everything is positive," Judge said of Jones' progress before practice, per SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

Jones will still need to be cleared before playing Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams, but his involvement would provide a significant boost to the Giants' chances. Backup Mike Glennon replaced Jones in Week 5, and while he completed 16 of 25 passes for 196 yards and one touchdown, he threw two interceptions in what ended up being a blowout loss.

Jones has completed 64.3% of his passes for 1,282 yards and a 4-1 TD-INT ratio through five weeks. With Saquon Barkley dealing with an ankle injury, the Giants will need their best possible options everywhere else to compete with the 4-1 Rams.

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Daniel Jones moves closer to playing vs. Rams 14 October, 2021 - 05:09pm

The Giants' third-year quarterback practiced on a limited basis, a day after he was listed as a non-participant. Though Jones must still complete the remaining steps in the NFL concussion protocol, including clearance by an independent neurological consultant, he is on track to face the 4-1 Rams.

"I'd say at this point, everything looks positive," coach Joe Judge said.

Jones was limited because he is prohibited by the protocols from having contact in practice.

"For him, it's really always non-contact, anyway," Judge said. "Obviously, we'll make a point of the certain drills he'll partake in, but he's good to go today, in terms of what he's allowed to do non-contact."

Judge, however, hedged when asked if he "thinks (Jones) is going to start."

"I can't give you a guess right there," Judge said. "Look, the one thing about these injuries is it's fully out of our hands. This isn't like some kind of soft tissue or a joint issue where the coaching staff and medical staff can talk and make an assessment on gameday. This is independent doctors; it's got nothing to do with us."

The NFL concussion protocol includes five steps.

"He's got a couple still more," Judge said, "a contact practice, a passed test by independent doctors, and things of that nature."

Jones is not permitted to speak to the media while he is in the protocol.

Jones was hurt in the second quarter last week in Dallas when he ran to his left near the Cowboys goal line and his helmet collided with that of Dallas linebacker Jabril Cox. He was carted off the field and the Giants soon announced that Jones had suffered a concussion and would not return to the game.

In addition to his throwing prowess, Jones is the Giants' leading rusher with 197 yards, a 6.6-yard average on 30 carries with two touchdowns. The Giants will not reduce his workload or alter his responsibilities when he returns.

"I think the biggest thing is we would never put a player back out there if he wasn't healthy enough to play," offensive coordinator Jason Garrett said. "Certainly, in a situation with a concussion, we certainly wouldn't do that. As an organization, as a coaching staff, we care too much about these guys to put them in a situation where they weren't right.

"If he's back and ready to go, we're going to play football. We're going to ask him to do what we need to do. You don't want to constantly put your quarterback in harm's way. We have other guys who can make plays for us, but D.J. running the ball has been a positive thing for us, so we'll try to find what that balance is."

Garrett chose not to provide much detail on Jones' last play in Dallas, but he pointed out, as Judge has done, that the quarterback must use discretion whenever he runs.

"I think it's important to understand that obviously sliding is important for quarterbacks," Garrett said. "But when you're in a situation like that when you're right down by the goal line, you're probably not going to slide and give yourself up unless you have no chance. He thought he had an opportunity to score. He's proven that he can be a tough, competitive player and make some of those plays for us. Again, unfortunately, that didn't work out for us."

View photos from Thursday's practice as the Giants prepare for their Week 6 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams.

Shepard told reporters yesterday he will play. Both Slayton and he have been limited in practice this week.

"Both guys are out here moving around with us," Judge said. "I'd say both guys had good weeks last week. We were optimistic we'd have a chance to have them last game, that's why we didn't rule anything out early last week. I'd say we're still optimistic this week. Yesterday was a shorter practice. We got everyone moving around. We'll see them over the duration today over a regular practice and see how they hold up, but I'd say we're optimistic that they're in the right direction."

*Rookie wide receiver Kadarius Toney was ejected from the game last week in Dallas after punching safety Damontae Kazee. In the NFL, that's an open invitation for opposing players to try to goad Toney into further infractions.

"I've already had that conversation with him," Judge said. "I think he understands that very clearly."

*Three players did not practice today: running back Saquon Barkley (ankle), wide receiver Kenny Golladay (knee) and cornerback Rodarius Williams (knee, out for the season).

In addition to Jones, 10 players were limited, including linebacker Justin Hilliard (ankle), the only newcomer to the injury report. Jones and offensive linemen Andrew Thomas (foot) and Matt Skura (knee) moved from did not practice to limited. The remainder of the list included safeties Jabrill Peppers (hamstring), Logan Ryan (hip) and Nate Ebner (quad), offensive lineman Ben Bredeson (hand), and Shepard, Slayton and Toney (ankle).

View rare photos of the history between the New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams.

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Giants’ OC Jason Garrett: "Foolish" not to use Daniel Jones’ ability as a runner

Big Blue View 14 October, 2021 - 03:59pm

Garrett talks about the line between using Jones’ legs in the offense and protecting him

“I think there is a balance there. I think we’d be foolish if we didn’t use his ability as a runner. It’s been such an asset for us, both him making plays spontaneously by moving in the pocket, but also some design stuff. Those have been good plays for us,” Garrett said. “But at the same time, you have to be certainly aware of that. You don’t want to overdo that and put him in harms way. I think we’re understanding more and more, he’s understanding more and more the balance between those.”

Jones (197 yards) is third in the league among quarterbacks in rushing yards, behind Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens (341) and Jalen Hurts of the Philadelphia Eagles (256). Jones’ average of 6.6 yards per carry is third among quarterbacks with double-digit rushing attempts.

Jones suffered his concussion in the second quarter on Sunday when he lowered his head and initiated what turned into helmet-to-helmet contact with Jabril Cox of Dallas while trying to score on a bootleg from inside the 1-yard line.

Garrett has been heavily criticized in social media circles for the play call. There is, however, some doubt over whether Garrett called the play, Jones audibled to it, or if the quarterback simply decided to run it on his own.

Giants’ radio analyst Carl Banks said on Twitter that watching the way the play was blocked it does appear players were expecting Jones to run the ball.

Head coach Joe Judge offered a murky answer earlier in the week when asked if the play call was for Jones to run in that situation.

“There’s a number of things that go into all of our schemes. There’s a number of times he goes in – sometimes pre-snap checks or some kind of read the quarterback may have, so in terms of how that one shook out, I’m not going into the specifics,” Judge said. “We had run a similar play a couple times in a row and there was a changeup off of it that obviously through the play development we saw.”

Garrett did not shed any light on the play, either.

“I don’t want to get into too many details, but we do give him some freedom on plays if he sees something to take advantage of it,” he said.

Garrett was also asked whether Jones should have done anything different, like slide, on the play in which he got hurt.

“I don’t know that I can get into detail on that. It’s pro football. Guys go out there, he’s trying to make a play, they’re trying to make a play and unfortunately, it didn’t work out for us,” Garrett said. “I think it’s important to understand that obviously sliding is important for quarterbacks. But when you’re in a situation like that when you’re right down by the goal line, you’re probably not going to slide and give yourself up unless you have no chance. He thought he had an opportunity to score. He’s proven that he can be a tough, competitive player and make some of those plays for us. Again, unfortunately that didn’t work out for us.”

New York Giants Week 6 Injury Report Update: Jones, Thomas Improving

The Athletic 14 October, 2021 - 02:53pm

Quarterback Daniel Jones (concussion) and offensive tackle Andrew Thomas (foot) were upgraded to limited in Thursday's practice after being projected to be non-participants in Wednesday's session.

Jones is currently in the latter stages of the league protocol after suffering a nasty blow to the head last weekend just before halftime in the Giants' loss to Dallas. The hit left him woozy and unable to stand on his own. He was carted off after struggling to walk under his own power.

Jones, who has missed time in each of his first two seasons, was a non-contact participant in practice. Jones, by virtue of the position he plays, usually is in the red non-contact jersey anyway. This week, the difference is in the number of snaps he took during practice, snaps he shared with backup Mike Glennon.

Head coach Joe Judge has said that if Jones clears the protocol and doesn't experience any setbacks, he'll play Sunday against the Rams.

The Giants are also hoping to get Thomas, their starting left tackle, back for Sunday. Last week, Thomas was active for the game against Dallas, but he didn't et any snaps by design. Thus far this week, according to this video, Thomas appears to have been rotating with Matt Peart at left tackle while Nate Solder, who played left tackle last week, moved back to right tackle.

The rest of the players listed as limited include OL Ben Bredeson (hand), DB Nate Ebner (quad), S Jabrill Peppers (hamstring), DB Logan Ryan (hip), OL Matt Skura (knee), and WR Kadarius Toney (ankle). Linebacker Justin Hilliard was added to the injury report on Thursday with an ankle injury.

Running back Saquon Barkley (ankle) and receiver Kenny Golladay (knee) didn't participate in Thursday's practice. Both are not expected to be available for Sunday's game against the Rams. The Giants also continue to list cornerback Rodarius Williams (knee) on their injury report. Williams tore his ACL last week and will be landing on IR sooner than later.

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