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Giants, Daniel Jones thrown a curveball with canceled practice

Judge expresses confidence in Freddie Kitchens as play-caller

Arizona Cardinals v New York Giants Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Daniel Jones’ chances of playing for the New York Giants on Sunday night against the Cleveland Browns were thrown a curveball when offensive coordinator Jason Garrett tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday night.

That means that the Giants had to cancel practice on Thursday, giving them one less day to assess Jones’ health as he tries to work through a right hamstring injury and a left ankle sprain.

Jones was listed as “limited” in Thursday’s injury report, which was only an estimation since there was no practice.

“The evaluation has obviously been put off a day as far as him moving around. Look, I was encouraged with how he moved around yesterday at practice, how he threw the ball, how he was in the pocket. That was very encouraging,” coach Joe Judge said via Zoom on Thursday. “That being said, we’ll have to see him at really a faster tempo. Tomorrow will be really the day we’ll evaluate that out there. I’d say obviously with two injuries, it’s a little bit different situation than it was just last week. But he’s making progress, he’s doing everything the trainers ask him to and he’s working hard. We just need to make sure we do a good job of really watching him tomorrow at practice and make the best decision.”

Colt McCoy, who was drafted by the Browns in the third round in 2010, would start if Jones can’t go.

Jones was able to enter the Giants’ facility on Thursday morning for treatment on his injuries.

Judge tried to downplay dealing with going into a key game with a new play-caller — tight ends coach Freddie Kitchens — and not being certain who his quarterback will be, or what Jones’ physical limitations will be if he does play.

“I think we always make it an emphasis on thriving on adversity. As I said a few weeks ago, it’s adapt or die,” Judge said. “Look, something happens, we just keep moving on. We have plans in place. We have a process that we stick to for each game. What’s important right now is that we get all the players prepared to play Sunday night.”

Confidence in Kitchens

Kitchens was offensive coordinator in Cleveland in 2018 before becoming head coach in 2019.

“I’ve worked with Freddie, I’ve worked against Freddie. He’s a tremendous coach,” Judge said. “Freddie is more than capable. Again, I’ve been on staffs where he’s called the plays. I’ve been on staffs where he’s called the plays against us. I can tell you from experience, going into playing Cleveland last year, one thing you had to tell the players repeatedly throughout the week was how explosive that team could be, how schematically sound they were and they were going to look to find mismatches on you. Look, I have all the confidence in the world in Freddie, along with all of our coaches on this staff.”