The Giants have three wins after four games. Now they have to make sure they have a healthy quarterback to face the Green Bay Packers in London next Sunday.
Daniel Jones scampered for two rushing touchdowns, and the Giants ran for 262 yards in Sunday’s 20-12 win over the Chicago Bears behind Saquon Barkley’s 146 on a career-high 31 carries.
But Jones (left ankle) and backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor (concussion) both sustained significant injuries that forced head coach Brian Daboll to put Barkley at quarterback in the fourth quarter and also reinsert Jones.
“When I saw Tyrod go down I kinda realized, like, I’m up next. I’m the quarterback,” said the dynamic Barkley, who ran all day like he was shot out of a cannon.
Jones underwent X-rays after the game and said he will “do everything I can to play” at Tottenham Stadium next Sunday. But he was limping badly after Bears safety Jaquan Brisker sacked him and landed awkwardly on his ankle with 3:30 left in the third quarter.
Asked to compare his injury to high ankle sprains he has had in the past, Jones said: “Each one’s different. I still don’t know exactly what it is. So we’ll look at it.”
The Giants surely weren’t planning on needing a third quarterback in London, so it will be interesting to see if they need to expedite a passport and international clearance for practice squad QB Davis Webb.
They managed to hold on Sunday when Taylor got hurt, though, because Daboll literally grabbed a white board on the sideline and drew up plays that he and offensive line coach Bobby Johnson had run before with the Buffalo Bills.
“Like when you were eight years old playing with your friends,” Barkley said with a smile.
Barkley played QB in a Wildcat formation the next three plays, twice out of the Pistol with running backs Matt Breida and Gary Brightwell flanking him. He handed to Breida twice for 14 yards and kept it once for four yards to set up a Graham Gano field goal.
Jones came back into the game after Taylor got hurt to relay the play calls to Barkley from his head set. He lined up as a dummy wide receiver on those three plays.
Then Jones played quarterback the Giants’ final two drives, handing a total of seven times to Barkley and never attempting another pass.
It was odd to see Jones return to the game after head athletic trainer Ronnie Barnes and Daboll had been seen on the sideline telling him he was out following the ankle injury.
Daboll said they took Jones out initially because the coach told Jones: “I’m not risking you getting injured to try to protect yourself with that limp.”
But Jones, with his ankle heavily taped, said he could return to the game if needed and remained available.
Jones said he believed “part of the decision” was that his ankle injury left him unable to execute the game plan. So he knew he would go in if Taylor got hurt.
The Giants had been killing the Bears’ defense with Jones’ back-to-the-defense play action rollouts. He had rushed for 21-yard and 8-yard TDs in the first half, the first Giants touchdowns scored in any first half this season.
It marked Jones’ first game with two rushing TDs since his first NFL start at Tampa in Sept. 2019. But his third-quarter injury left him immobile. And Taylor came in to run three times for 30 yards before his injury.
“That was the communication,” Jones said. “I wanted to go in and considering the game and how it was playing out, probably wasn’t the best thing for the team. So when Tyrod went down, I knew I was going back in.”
Jones admitted “it’s frustrating” to get shut down during a game. He was understandably not pleased on the sideline and even put his helmet on when Taylor entered the game.
“You want to play and be out there with your teammates at the end of a game where you’re fighting and trying to win,” Jones said. “But I thought guys stepped up, played great and finished off the game.”
It remains to be seen how the Giants will keep winning with this offense. Jones completed only one first-half pass to a wide receiver, David Sills, with under a minute left in the second quarter.
The Giants’ leading receiver was tight end Daniel Bellinger with three catches for 23 yards.
Primarily, Don Martindale’s defense was the difference, keeping Chicago’s NFC-best running game in check at 149 yards, 37 below their average. Jaylon Smith rotated in at inside linebacker in his season debut.
Martindale’s crew blitzed young Bears QB Justin Fields into indecision and sacked him six times, twice by Dexter Lawrence, who talked a lot of trash and backed it up.
“I’m just playing my game,” Lawrence said with a smile. “If they got beef, we got beef, you know what I mean? You wanna talk junk, I’m good at that. So it’s like, whatchu wanna do? Let’s line up.”
Rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux recovered a second quarter Fields fumble forced by Azeez Ojulari that led to a Giants touchdown drive. And Brightwell recovered a fourth quarter muffed punt by the Bears’ Velus Jones Jr. to offset a second quarter muffed punt and lost fumble by the Giants’ Richie James.
But the Giants also lost a ton of players to injury: Jones, Taylor, safety Julian Love (concussion), right tackle Evan Neal (neck), corner Aaron Robinson (knee), receiver Kenny Golladay (knee), defensive lineman Henry Mondeaux (ankle), Ojulari (calf) and Thibodeaux (back spasms). Right guard Mark Glowinski (ankle) and Jihad Ward (unknown) missed time and returned.
The focus, though, is on the quarterback position and who will start against Aaron Rodgers next week.
The Giants’ inactives were LB Austin Calitro, OL Tyre Phillips, DL Leonard Williams (knee), WR Wan’Dale Robinson (knee), WR Kadarius Toney (hamstring), CB Cor’Dale Flott (calf) and CB Nick McCloud (hammy).
Source: Berkshire mont
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