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Giants ‘optimistic’ QB Jones will play against Bills

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Giants ‘optimistic’ QB Jones will play against Bills

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants are “optimistic” about quarterback Daniel Jones playing this week against the Buffalo Bills after he left Sunday’s loss to the Miami Dolphins with a neck injury.

Jones was hurt in the fourth quarter when he was leveled from behind and sacked for the sixth time in the contest. He said he was in some pain after the game and had an MRI on Monday morning.

“I’d say we’re optimistic,” coach Brian Daboll said on an afternoon Zoom call with reporters. “He’s feeling better [Monday]. So, I think he’s moving in the right direction. See where he is, obviously, when he comes back on Wednesday.

“Doesn’t feel terrible today.”

Daboll said he still needed to speak with doctors and trainers about the MRI, but seemed relatively confident the Giants avoided a disaster scenario with their starting quarterback.

The Giants play in Buffalo on Sunday night, the fourth time in six weeks they will be in prime time.

“I’m optimistic after talking to him,” Daboll said.

Jones isn’t the Giants’ only major injury concern on offense. Standout running back Saquon Barkley (ankle) and All-Pro left tackle Andrew Thomas (hamstring) haven’t played in weeks. It has taken its toll on the unit. The Giants have not scored an offensive touchdown in 145 minutes, almost 2½ games.

Barkley and Thomas’ statuses are “yet to be determined” for this week against the Bills, per Daboll. He conceded that Barkley is closer to returning after missing the past three games with a high ankle sprain.

Barkley practiced on a limited basis all last week but was unable to make it back in time for Sunday’s latest Giants loss, which dropped them to 1-4.

There was some concern that Jones could miss time because of this injury. It’s not the first time he’s had trouble with his neck. Jones missed the final six games of the 2021 season because of a disk problem.

The quarterback noted some similarities between the injuries immediately after the 31-16 loss to the Dolphins, even though he was waiting for more information.

“Yeah, it’s tough to say for sure,” Jones said at the time. “Dealt with a similar issue [in 2021]. I’ll meet with the doctors and trainers and go from there.”

Jones has been taking a beating so far this season having taken 28 sacks, second most in the NFL through five weeks. He was pressured on 44% of his dropbacks Sunday and 81 times this season, the third most of any player through five games since ESPN began tracking pressures in 2009.

Whoever plays quarterback Sunday night is likely to be behind a makeshift offensive line. In addition to Thomas, starting center John Michael Schmitz (shoulder) remains in question. Schmitz also missed the loss in Miami.

If Jones is unable to play, Tyrod Taylor would step into the lineup. Taylor filled in for Jones late in the fourth quarter Sunday and finished 9of 12 for 86 yards. But he was also under constant duress (pressured on 10 of 16 dropbacks) and sacked once. Taylor even looked to be banged up at one point after getting the wind knocked out of him but remained in the game. He is expected to be fine.

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