Ex-Browns HC, Not Jason Garrett, to Call Plays for Giants vs. Cleveland

Jason Garrett tests positive for COVID-19, Freddie Kitchens to call plays for Giants

Getty Daniel Jones #8 and offensive coordinator Jason Garrett of the New York Giants converse during warms up prior to facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Jason Garrett will not be calling plays for the league’s 31st-ranked offense the next time the New York Giants take the field.

The team announced on Thursday that the offensive coordinator has tested positive for COVID-19 and will continue to work remotely. Garrett will miss Sunday night’s game against the Cleveland Browns.

The Giants released this statement in regards to Garrett’s positive test:

We are currently working with the league’s chief medical officer regarding close contacts. Because of the league’s most updated protocols, Giants coaches and players did not meet on either Monday or Tuesday, and the majority of the coaching staff worked remotely. At this point, there appear to be no high risk close contacts. We are awaiting confirmation from the league.

The team also added that “out of an abundance of caution,” the team plans on meeting remotely on Thursday and will not hold practice. 

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Freddie Kitchens to Call Plays for Giants vs. Former Team

In Garrett’s absence, tight ends coach Freddie Kitchens will man the Giants’ offensive play-calling duties. Kitchens, who manned the same role with Cleveland back in 2018, served as the Browns head coach a season ago.

The Browns entered 2019 with Super Bowl aspirations. Fresh off a hot-finish to their 2018 campaign and led by a quarterback in Baker Mayfield, who looked to be one of the league’s brightest up-and-coming signal-callers, the sky appeared to be the limit for Cleveland. The team made a slew of acquisitions, none more notable than acquiring three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, Odell Beckham Jr. from the Giants.

Yet, as well all know, the Browns failed to live up to the hype. Cleveland finished the season at a disappointing 6-10 and Kitchens was let go as the team’s head coach just hours after their Week 17 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Despite his tumultuous one-year stint as the Browns head coach, Kitchens doesn’t appear to hold any grudges.

“Couldn’t be happier for Cleveland fans on the Browns’ success this season,” Kitchens told reporters this week. “The team is playing very well, they’re talented, well-coached and playing hard. They’re doing all of the things necessary to have a successful season.”

Kitchens also touched on his former quarterback’s improved play, who since Week 12, has averaged 311 passing ypg and totaled nine touchdowns and just one interception.

“Baker Mayfield is doing a tremendous job of getting better with the little things each year,” Kitchens said. “Taking care of the football is the biggest thing for Mayfield, and he has done a good job of limiting turnovers this season.”

Kitchens to Lead Short-Handed Giants Offense?

A reminder, not only will New York be down their offensive coordinator come Sunday, starting quarterback Daniel Jones’ status is also reportedly “in doubt.” The second-year pro suffered a new “lower-body” injury in last week’s 26-7 blowout loss to the Arizona Cardinals. If Jones can’t give it a go in Week 15, the Giants will once again ultimately turn to veteran backup Colt McCoy under center.

McCoy helped Big Blue knock off the Seattle Seahawks in a 17-12 upset two weeks ago while Jones was dealing with a hamstring ailment. McCoy finished that game with 105 yards passing on 13 of 22 passes with one touchdown and one interception.

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