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Good news involving quarterbacks has been a rarity for the New York Giants lately, but Tyrod Taylor offered one positive update. The backup passer has declared the rib problem that’s landed him on injured reserve is “Not season ending in my mind,” per ESPN’s Jordan Raanan.
As Raanan pointed out, Taylor is eligible for a comeback after the Giants’ bye week in Week 13. If he does return, the 34-year-old would be the most experienced quarterback on the roster.
Without Taylor, the Giants will be relying on undrafted free agent Tommy DeVito after starter Daniel Jones tore his ACL in Week 9. The Giants have also elevated Matt Barkley to the 53-man roster after signing Jacob Eason to the practice squad.
Taylor is the Giants Safest Bet at QB, If He’s Healthy
Barkley knows head coach Brian Daboll’s offense from their time working together for the Buffalo Bills, but Taylor has more recent starting experience. The latter helped the Giants push the Bills all the way on the road in Week 6.
Taylor then threw two touchdown passes to help beat the Washington Commanders a week later. One of those scoring passes was this strike to tight end Darren Waller, who is also on injured reserve because of a hamstring problem.
A rib injury suffered against the New York Jets in Week 8 sent Taylor to IR, but if he’s healthy, he remains the Giants best bet of winning a few more games before this disappointing season is in the books.
A few wins to salvage pride may not matter much with the Giants languishing at 2-7 and bottom of the NFC East. Yet, the stakes could be higher for Daboll, given how much the Giants have regressed following an excellent 2022 campaign.
Giants Regime Needs to End Sorry Season on Positive Note
Daboll’s fall from grace has been swift and spectacular. He’s gone from being named Coach of the Year to overseeing a team riddled with injuries, beset by questions about leadership and facing doubts around the futures of major personnel.
Jones is the obvious starting point after Daboll and general manager Joe Schoen handed him a four-year contract worth $160 million. It was a bold move for a quarterback with only one solid season on his CV.
The decision to pay Jones looks beyond suspect. Especially when his deal came at the expense of securing Pro-Bowl running back Saquon Barkley beyond this season.
Daboll was supposed to ensure Jones would continue to develop. Instead, the coach and his signal-caller have visibly been at odds more than once.
Offense is Daboll’s speciality, but “just 8.5% of the Giants’ offensive drives have ended in a touchdown, the second-lowest rate in the NFL,” per Thomas Valentine of Pro Football Focus.
Maintaining harmony within the locker room amid a losing run has also looked beyond Daboll after safety Xavier McKinney spoke out about leadership issues. The Giants were solid, unified and efficient when going 10-8-1 last season, but this year’s team has been anything but in Daboll’s second season.
It means the coach has to look over his shoulder, even though Charlotte Carroll of The Athletic believes “Daboll and Schoen should be safe.” Carroll did also sound this note of caution, though: “Since two-time Super Bowl winner Tom Coughlin’s time at the helm ended in 2015, no Giants coach has lasted more than two seasons in New York. And there are already some parallels to 2021 when Jones missed the final six games with a neck injury and things fell apart. Coach Joe Judge was fired at season’s end.”
Picking up a few more wins might deny the Giants the top pick in the 2024 NFL draft, but a strong finish could be the only currency Daboll has to justify another season. Those wins are more likely to come with Taylor throwing passes rather than DeVito or Barkley.
James Dudko covers the New York Giants, New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens for Heavy.com. He has covered the NFL and world soccer since 2011, with bylines at FanSided, Prime Time Sports Talk and Bleacher Report before joining Heavy in 2021. More about James Dudko
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