The New York Giants aren’t providing much clarity on whether Daniel Jones will play again during the 2023 NFL season. Brian Daboll has confirmed his starting quarterback will miss Week 8’s game against the New York Jets with a neck injury, but the head coach was evasive about Jones’ status beyond this week.
Daboll spoke to reporters on Friday, October 27, but simply answered “yep” after it was pointed out he “was less declarative than previously,” ESPN’s Jordan Raanan.
Taking a wait and see approach on Jones’ recovery is probably smart. Yet, as Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News noted, “Daboll cannot answer in the affirmative” about his signal-caller returning to the field this season.
In the short term it means Tyrod Taylor starts against the Jets. Beyond Week 8, the Giants may be forced to face Jones having to remain sidelined, barely months after signing a four-year contract worth $160 million.
Daniel Jones Looks More Likely to Be Out Long-Term
Jones is dealing with a cervical neck injury suffered against the Miami Dolphins in Week 5. Recovery is tricky, with No. 8 still not being cleared for contact at practice.
The main issue concerns managing potential nerve damage. Board-certified orthopedic neck and spine surgeon, Dr. Rahul Shah told Dan Duggan of The Athletic, “you want to see how bad that nerve is getting irritated in that area,” Shah said. “You do strength testing to see that. You load that and you see how much those symptoms keep coming back when you progressively overload it.”
Shah outlined how “gradual testing on the practice field to simulate game circumstances” will offer a true gauge of Jones’ status. However, the medical professional also cautioned that “in the case of the cervical spine, or the neck area, that area is a bit more fragile because if you’re not game-ready and you make a mistake and you send somebody in too soon, then they can become paralyzed.”
A diagnosis potentially this bleak is why the Giants are right not to rush Jones. It’s also why the team’s QB1 is probably set for a prolonged period on the sidelines, with Newsday’s Kim Jones rating it as “hard to believe Jones returns anytime soon.”
If the Giants have to function without Jones for the long haul, Daboll will need to build a rapport with Taylor.
Brian Daboll and Tyrod Taylor Rapport Now Key for Giants
Daboll and Taylor just passed each other on the way in and out for the Buffalo Bills in 2018. While Daboll became offensive coordinator at the start of that year, Taylor was traded to the Cleveland Browns just two months later.
There were strong indicators of significant improvement from the Giants’ passing game with Taylor throwing the football. Things like Taylor spreading the ball between eight different receivers.
He also fit the ball into tight windows, like for these three “improbable completions” highlighted by Next Gen Stats.
There are those who believe the Giants are better off with 34-year-old Taylor in the starting lineup. Among them, former Jets wide receivers Wayne Chrebet and Laveranues Coles would rather their old team was facing Jones than Taylor at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, October 29.
Jones has his critics because of a penchant for turning the ball over, summed up by 40 career interceptions. Even so, Daboll and the Giants built much of their success around Jones’ dual-threat skills last season, talents deemed worthy of a significant pay rise.
Now Daboll and offensive coordinator face a different challenge helping Taylor, who has a career 45-42-1 win-loss record, to keep the Giants competitive.