Out of seemingly nothing, the New York Giants are playing meaningful December football. A four-game win streak catapulted them from the top of draft boards to the top of the NFC East — a victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, putting them in the driver’s seat for the division despite sharing a 5-7 record with the Washington Football Team.
While their upset victory in Seattle was made possible by their defense, it was made all the more impressive that it was managed by veteran backup quarterback Colt McCoy, who stepped in for the injured Daniel Jones.
The Giants’ second-year quarterback looked as though he turned around his overarching issues overnight to initially spark Big Blue’s big turnaround, going three-straight games without a turnover after snapping a nine-game streak with at least one giveaway.
But a hamstring injury during the third quarter of a Week 12 triumph over the Cincinnati Bengals created yet another hurdle for the developing quarterback — one that he looks poised to return from this Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals (1 p.m. ET, FOX).
At least, it looks promising. But Giants head coach Joe Judge knows that his quarterback doesn’t always properly relay what’s really going on.
“We’re optimistic,’’ Judge said. “I know he’s going to tell us everything we want to hear. We’ve got to use our eyes instead of our ears with Daniel.’’
Jones has a reputation of downplaying the severity of his injuries just to get back on the field. During his college days at Duke, Jones had surgery on a broken clavicle and was practicing nine days later. He played three weeks after the initial injury.
“Some injuries are worse than others,’’ McCoy said of Jones. “We’ve all played through a lot of things. DJ’s dealing with a hamstring, if he feels like he can go, he’ll go. He’s a competitor, he’s a captain, he wants to be out there so bad. This is killing him.’’
“Yeah, it’s tough not playing, it’s tough missing time,’’ Jones added.
It’s an admirable quality that he doesn’t want to miss time, but the last thing the Giants want to do is exacerbate an injury to further put their franchise quarterback at risk.
Judge and his coaching staff will keep tabs on Jones during the final days of practice this week before making a decision on his status against the Cardinals.
If he is unable to go, McCoy already made it clear that he’s ready to go.
“Again, I’m treating this just like I would any other week, and preparing and just getting ready to go,” he said. “[The Cardinals] are really good. They’re playing for a lot just like we are, so we have to be ready to go.”