Giants QB Jones doubtful, McCoy in line to start

NFL

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks with a hamstring injury. Veteran Colt McCoy is expected to start in his place.

Jones, who left last week’s win over Cincinnati, practiced Friday for the first time since the injury. He was listed as a limited participant in Friday’s workout, but stood and watched while the first-team offense worked during the portion of practice open to the media.

McCoy, 34, has only started seven games in the past nine years and hasn’t won a start since the 2014 season. He went 6-of-10 passing for 31 yards in place of Jones against the Bengals.

The Giants (4-7) have been preparing throughout the week as if McCoy would be the starter. They’re looking to remain in first place in the NFC East and have maintained that their offense won’t change much if McCoy plays in place of Jones.

“I don’t know that it’s scale back or cut down. There’s nothing mentally or physically that Colt is not capable of doing. I wouldn’t look at it that way,” offensive coordinator Jason Garrett said. “You’re always trying to create an environment where your players are comfortable with what they’re doing. There’s a lot of plays in football. Let’s run the ones that our quarterback likes to run and they’re comfortable running. Let’s run the ones that our linemen are good at, our runners are good at. The things our tight ends and our receivers do best. You’re always trying to do that regardless of who’s playing. Regardless of how many snaps they’ve played. You’re probably a little bit more sensitive to that with a backup quarterback who hasn’t had the backlog of reps that the other guys have had. I just think you’re trying to customize it. I don’t think you’re cutting it down in any way.”

But the Giants have at least left the door open for Jones to play should anything change over the weekend. The plan is for him to fly with the team on Saturday to Seattle, whether he plays or not.

Coach Joe Judge wants to see how his quarterback feels on Saturday before making the final decision.

“We’ll see how he does in practice [Friday] and after our flight,” Judge said earlier Friday.

Jones injured his hamstring in last Sunday’s win over the Bengals. He tried to return to the game but only lasted two plays. He couldn’t plant and throw — nevertheless run — in order to function efficiently.

It was always a longshot that Jones would be ready to play this week. A source told ESPN after an MRI revealed a strained hamstring that he was likely to miss time. And while it still seems likely, there is an outside chance Jones plays Sunday in Seattle after making surprising progress throughout the week.

The saving grace with Jones is that he’s consider tough, a term Judge has used on multiple occasions to describe his quarterback. At Duke, Jones had surgery on a broken clavicle, was back at practice nine days later and played three weeks after the injury.

With the Giants it looks like he will at least be able to make it back from what appeared to be a bad hamstring injury for next week’s matchup against the Arizona Cardinals.

Jones worked inside with trainers on Wednesday while his teammates practiced. He was outside on the side working with trainers on Thursday. At one point, he was dropping back and throwing passes while Judge stood behind him and observed closely for an extended stretch.

“I thought he threw the ball well,” Judge said of the Thursday throwing session. “Obviously, we didn’t want to go ahead and open him up too much [Thursday], really being just a couple of days into kind of moving around. But he threw the ball well. I saw a lot of good velocity and very good accuracy.

“We talked in terms of how he felt on different things, different movements. But look, I think this guy is doing everything he can to get on the field.”

Jones said earlier this week he was “feeling good” and that he was taking it all day by day. He was going through his preparation as if it were business as usual.

“Certainly preparing the way I always do to play and making sure that while I’m not in practice, still getting those reps and making sure I understand what exactly we’re doing and prepare myself to play,” Jones said on Wednesday. “That’s certainly my approach this week as it would be any.”

Jones was the sixth overall pick in last year’s draft. He’s completed 63.2% of his passes this season for 2,332 yards with eight touchdowns and nine interceptions. But he was playing perhaps the best football of his young career before the injury. Jones had gone three straight games without a turnover.

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