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There’s no less likely Giants player than Daniel Jones to catch Joe Judge’s wrath for revealing state secrets.
But the normally tight-lipped quarterback let it slip Wednesday that he isn’t the rushing threat he wants to be as he recovers from a right hamstring strain. Oops!
“I’ve played from the pocket the past couple of weeks,” Jones said, “and I expect to continue to do that until I’m healthy.”
It’s nothing that isn’t obvious to opposing coaches watching the tape — Jones has one rushing attempt in his last two starts when his single-game season-low prior to injury was two rushes — but still a rare bit of transparency from Jones. And it probably won’t happen again given Judge’s reaction.
“I read Daniel’s comments,” Judge said. “Probably a little more forthcoming than I would have been with it right there.”
Judge had the unmistakable tone of a parent scolding a child for doing something surprising when assumed to know better.
“We’ll do whatever it takes to win the game,” Judge said. “I can’t turn around and ‘take the gloves off.’ When the gloves come off and you expose someone to long-term injury, that’s not always the most opportune thing. We’re going to make sure that we always put our players in a position of strength, and that includes their health.”
As he learned from his time under Bill Belichick with the Patriots, Judge asks his players not to discuss injuries with the media. Tight end Evan Engram says “we’re not allowed to talk about the details” of injuries.
Judge will be the Giants coach in 2021.
Dave Gettleman’s future as general manager is murkier. Retired, replaced and retained all seem like viable outcomes headed into Sunday’s season finale, with playoff hopes hanging in the balance.
Judge and Gettleman had no relationship prior to this year, but there are no indications that the ownership-arranged partnership did not work out — as was the case with the Panthers, where first-year coach Matt Rhule outlasted fired general manager Marty Hurney.
“I’d say the entire building since I’ve been here has really had one vision going forward,” Judge said. “I’ve enjoyed working with Dave the entire year. We’ve done a lot of good things together. Everyone’s doing a good job right now, in terms of just understanding where we want to go and pushing in that direction. There’s been a lot of really good communication.”
The Giants’ overachieving defense is made up almost entirely of new faces, and Judge credited by name assistant general manager Kevin Abrams, director of player personnel Mark Koncz, assistant director of player personnel Tim McDonnell and director of college scouting Chris Pettit for identifying free agents and draft picks who “helped lay a foundation for this team.”
Engram, a Pro Bowl selection, is one game away from shaking his “injury-prone” label to play in all 16 games for the first time in his four-year career. However, he is a limited participant in practice because of an ankle “tweak” suffered in the fourth quarter last Sunday.
“I’m making progress and doing everything I can with the trainers and on the field,” Engram said. “Me playing 16 [games] is not really on my mind. I’m just focused on trying to win this game.”
WR Golden Tate (calf) and FB Eli Penny (illness) did not practice. S Jabrill Peppers (ankle) and WR Sterling Shepard (rib) joined Engram as limited. QB Jones was a full participant for the second straight day.