For the first time in a long time, Eli Manning won't take the field with the New York Giants starters on Friday night.
We didn't have to wait long for the first big surprise of Ben McAdoo's tenure as head coach of the Giants. In fact, we didn't even have to wait until the start of the Giants' first preseason game against the Miami Dolphins.
Friday morning the Giants released the list of players who won't be playing, headlined by Eli Manning.
The decision to sit Manning, listed as a "Coaches Decision", was easily explained by McAdoo. "I made the decision not to play Eli tonight," said coach Ben McAdoo. "We have a pretty good idea of what Eli can do, and as I said the other day when asked, Ryan is going to play a lot of football for us this preseason. And that starts tonight. We will also get Logan (Thomas) some work, as well."
It seems that McAdoo wasn't lying or engaging in "Coach Speak". If anything, he was under-selling how much their primary backup would play. This will be Nassib's first start since Dec. 29, 2012 when Syracuse beat West Virginia in the Pinstripe Bowl.
Manning will join J.T. Thomas (PUP), Jay Bromley (PUP), Keenan Robinson (groin), Victor Cruz (groin), and Kerry Wynn (groin) on the sideline.
While Manning sitting the first preseason game creates an opportunity for Nassib and Thomas, the injury to Wynn gives Romeo Okwara, the undrafted rookie out of Notre Dame with a condor-like wingspan, a chance to make a case for a roster spot. Okwara's size and discipline in the run game are similar to Wynn, so this is an invaluable opportunity to separate himself.