New York Giants rookie Kyle Lauletta will likely start at quarterback over Eli Manning this season. Now, the only question is when.
The 1-7 Giants “remain high on rookie quarterback Kyle Lauletta following his arrest from a traffic incident this week and continue to explore the possibility of sitting struggling quarterback Eli Manning this season,” according to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora. The reporter added, “Lauletta is a prospect they would like to evaluate more before [the offseason].”
The team is in the midst of a long layoff — they had a bye in Week 9 and a Monday night game in Week 10 looms. But head coach Pat Shurmur told reporters Manning will start in the team’s next game.
Lauletta has yet to be active for a game this season; instead, 30-year-old journeyman Alex Tanney has served as Manning’s backup on the sideline.
Kyle Lauletta’s Arrest
Lauletta spent six hours in jail last week, charged with eluding police and resisting arrest while running late to practice.
“While Lauletta’s arrest may serve to push back the process of getting him more first-string practice reps coming out of the bye,” La Canfora wrote, “it is difficult to see a scenario where Manning plays out the season.”
But in recent comments to the press, Shurmur didn’t sound comfortable playing the fourth-rounder out of Richmond just yet.
“He’s working himself into position to play,” Shurmur said, according to Newsday. “He’s done a good job out here in practice. He’s a small school quarterback so there was a lot to learn and there is a lot to learn about how to prepare in the NFL. He’s going through the process of doing that.”
The head coach added: “When you bring in rookie quarterbacks, there is a process they have to go through to develop. Some guys have to develop further than others. Once the world quits seeing training camp practices, that continues. Guys pick up things at different paces … I don’t know what the world is expecting. We’re just trying to get him as good as he can be so when he goes in there he has success.”
Eli Manning’s Struggles
The two-time Super Bowl MVP has thrown just eight touchdown passes on the year, to six interceptions. The team ranks 23rd in passing DVOA and rushing DVOA, per Football Outsiders. Unsurprisingly, they’re 27th in the league in points scored.
According to Newsday, Shurmur said he’d spoken to Manning on the phone “a couple times” during the long layoff.
“Part of the conversation was: ‘We trust you, we want to work with you, and we trust the fact that you’re going to get in there and help us win football games,’” Shurmur said.
Manning’s next opponents: the 2-7 San Francisco 49ers, who’ve surrendered 27 or more points six times in nine contests this season.
“I explained to him that he’s going to start on Monday,” Shurmur said. “I also explained to Eli that everybody needs to play better as we go through this. It’s important that we’re not ‘almost’ in these games and we do what we have to do to get it over the top and win football games. We’ll just take it from there.”