For at least one more game, Eli Manning will be the Giants' starting quarterback.
Head coach Pat Shurmur revealed Manning will likely start in place of Daniel Jones, who sustained a moderate high-ankle sprain in the Giants' loss to Green Bay on Dec. 1. Jones was reportedly seen in a walking boot, leaving the door open for Manning's return under center. There are no indications whether Jones' injury will cost him the final few weeks of the regular season.
At 2-10, the Giants don't have a reason to rush Jones back to the field. WFAN's Mike Francesa believes the Giants rookie could benefit from taking a step back, rather than a rapid return to the team.
"If he's hurt, why rush him back?" Francesa asked. "Maybe Eli plays the last four games. The only thing that you're jeopardizing is your ranking in the draft because if (Manning) wins you a couple of games, it's going to cost you a higher draft pick.
“I think it's a positive for Jones. I think Jones has a lot to digest off of this year. He's become extremely turnover plagued. He was on his way to breaking the all-time fumble record for quarterbacks. Him stepping away now isn't a bad thing. I think it's a good thing. It'll help Jones' development that he doesn't play these last four games ... if that happens."
Manning last played in the Giants' 28-14 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 15. He was subsequently benched in favor of Jones, but his intention was to remain with New York. He didn't waive his full no-trade clause ahead of the deadline. Manning will likely receive his farewell tour in what could be in final few games with the club.
"The other part is it actually puts people in the stands if Eli is playing," Francesa said. "I don't think there's any question about it because if Eli plays the last game against the Eagles and it's Eli's last game with the Giants and he's starting, so many people are going to go to the game. You're looking at unbelievably small crowds against the Dolphins, Eagles and that might change with Eli Manning there. He actually might put people in the seats. He definitely will for the last game because people will want to say, 'hey, I want to get a chance to see Eli play one more time.'
Manning developed a reputation of being one of the NFL's most dependable quarterbacks. Over his illustrious 16-year career, he's appeared in every regular season games on 13 separate occasions. His iron-man streak of consecutive games in which he's started spanned across 222 games before it ended in Nov. 2017.
It's one of the many few things that Francesa says is underappreciated about the Giants' quarterback.
"It shows you how durable Eli is," Francesa said. "If Jones misses two games, he would have missed more games to injury than Eli did in 15 years. It shows you how amazing durable Eli has been, which is a remarkable trait and one that is incredibly underrated in this league, where quarterbacks go down all the time - that you can have a quarterback who is there starting every single week, all the time. The most durable QB in the history of this league."