EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — While saying his injured right hamstring was feeling better, New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones scrambled when asked whether he would be able to play this weekend against the Arizona Cardinals.
Giants coach Joe Judge said earlier Wednesday he was optimistic Jones would be able to return after missing last weekend’s game in Seattle. The rookie coach tempered his comments, saying Jones has to show he can protect himself before he will be allowed to play Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
Jones practiced on a limited basis Wednesday as the Giants (5-7) held a walk-through workout to start preparations for the Cardinals (6-6). The second-year player said he has tested his hamstring in some drills with trainers, and his job for the rest of the week is doing everything he can to get ready.
Veteran backup Colt McCoy, who played in the win over Seattle, would get the start again if Jones is not ready.
The game has playoff implications for both New York and Arizona. The Giants have won four in a row and are currently in first place in the NFC based on a tiebreaker with Washington (5-7). The Cardinals have lost three straight and four of five and are just outside a playoff spot.
“Yeah, it’s tough not playing, it’s tough missing time and, you know, I’ve got to focus on on healing and I’ve got to focus on on what I can do,” Jones said. “Right now, that’s working every day to get back out there and, you know, continue to study like I’m playing, and like I did last week.”
McCoy intends to prepare as if he is starting. It’s the way he approaches every game as the backup. The difference last week was he got the majority of the first-team snaps during practice, so he had an idea he was going to play.
McCoy noted that not every hamstring injury is the same.
“I think if he feels like he can go, he’ll go,” McCoy said. “He’s a competitor. He’s a captain. He wants to be out there, you know, so bad this is killing him. So, you know, I think he’ll he’ll just see how he feels like.”
Judge said the practice on Thursday and Friday will determine whether Jones can play.
“We’re optimistic. I know he’s going to tell us everything we want to hear, we’ve got to again use our eyes instead of our ears with Daniel, so we’re going to put him out there today and make sure we give him a chance to progress,” Judge said.
Jones had not turned the ball over in his three previous starts and that helped New York get back in the playoff hunt. McCoy threw an interception on a tipped pass last week but it did not result in any Seattle points.