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Daniel Jones, Joe Judge don’t regret quarterback’s disappointing return

Jones was sacked six times in the first game back from his hamstring injury

Arizona Cardinals v New York Giants Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones was his old self again vs. the Arizona Cardinals Sunday ... but not in a good way.

After playing 11 quarters without a turnover, Jones fumbled the ball on the Giants’ first drive of the game. That play seemed to set the tone for the afternoon as Jones continued to look uncomfortable in the pocket. He avoided running the ball and missed wide-open targets. Jones finished the game 11 of 21 for 127 yards with three fumbles and was sacked six times.

“I thought he was able to protect himself in the pocket,” coach Joe Judge said after the game. “That’s the main concern in terms of, ‘Can he step up?’ and ‘Can he move it?’ We knew there were going to be some situations today where he wasn’t going to be able to run it the way he has in the past.”

In his first game back from the hamstring injury that he suffered in Week 12, Jones looked like the version of himself that took the field throughout the first half of the season. Through the first eight games of the season, Jones had nine interceptions and was sacked 23 times. Those numbers were steadily improving though as Jones had zero interceptions and eight sacks in the last three games he played before starting Sunday’s game versus the Cardinals.

The sophomore QB said that he had no regrets about playing.

“I felt good enough to play,” Jones said after the game.

Jones’ inability to run the ball did not help jump-start an already-stagnant offense Sunday.

“I wasn’t able to run like I normally am,” Jones said.

Judge acknowledged the impact Jones’ immobility in the pocket had on the offensive game plan.

“It’s something that’s really been a positive for our offense this year is Daniel being able to run the ball,” Judge said. “Obviously, you take away part of the offense in any regard, it’s going to affect how the offense complements itself.”

Despite the poor performance, Judge also said that he has no regrets playing Jones. He added that the coaching staff had some brief conversation during the game about sending in backup Colt McCoy, but those considerations were not based on Jones’ health.

“We made a calculated decision based on what we thought he could do as a player,” Judge said. “We went out there and, as a team, we have to execute better.”