Just last week, quarterback Jake Fromm was in the frigid weather of Buffalo, N.Y. as a practice squad member of the Bills organization who had yet to play in an NFL game.
This week, the 23-year-old signal caller is in Tucson, Ariz. with the New York Giants preparing to potentially make his first professional start when the Giants take on the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Daniel Jones is sidelined with a neck injury and backup QB Mike Glennon suffered a concussion in last Sunday’s matchup.
“At the end of this, I’ll spend more days here as a New York Giant than I have in New Jersey,” Fromm said. “It’s crazy, but it’s what we sign up for and it’s fun.”
Fromm, a fifth-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, was a star under center at the University of Georgia. He led the Bulldogs to the brink of a national championship as a true freshman and beat out 2021 first-round draft pick Justin Fields for the starting QB job - a position he held for three years.
But Fromm’s experience at the pro level is limited at best. Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins marked the first time Fromm has suited up for an NFL game. And he has been tasked with learning the Giants’ playbook in just 12 days.
“It’s a lot to learn,” Fromm said. “You’re just preparing for a final test where you didn’t show up for any of the classes, but it’s fun. Learning is what I like to do. I love football, love scheme.”
It does not make matters any easier that Giants quarterback coach Jerry Schuplinski tested positive for COVID-19 and is only able to participate in meetings remotely.
But with just a suitcase and a little duffel bag, Fromm said that he is ready to take on the challenges that have been thrown his way.
“That’s all we need,” Fromm said. “Let’s go play football.”
Fromm, not far removed from his college days, compared the task at hand to his days as a student-athlete.
“There’s definitely some late nights, definitely a lot of studying, but being an athlete, you’ve got to sleep, too,” Fromm said. “You’ve got to be able to be your best and be well-rested.”
Jones and Glennon have helped Fromm prepare.
“Both of them have been a tremendous help,” Fromm said. “I thank them for just allowing me to pick their brains and figure things out. Things will be said in a meeting and don’t know exactly what that is – ‘Hey Daniel, what is this?’ He’ll do me a favor and draw it up for me, so I really appreciate them and all the ways they’re helping me and trying to get me prepared, as well.”
With such a short time to learn, Fromm said that he feels more confident in some aspects of the playbook than others.
“There are definitely some things I definitely feel more comfortable with and some things I feel less comfortable with,” Fromm said. “So when it comes down to it we’ll have a good plan going out there, something we feel good about and we’ll try to execute as best as we can.”
The experience of being a fourth-string QB on the Buffalo roster to potentially starting for the Giants in just a span of a couple of weeks is a whirlwind, but Fromm wants to take advantage of the opportunity.
“Crazy to think about, but I think when you just have that mindset of preparing every week to be the guy, hopefully it pays off,” Fromm said. “We’ll see. Just try to prepare week in and week out like you could be the guy.”
If Fromm does turn out to be the guy, he will have some logistics to work out. His parents live in Georgia and are a plane ride away from Los Angeles.
“We’ll work out the kinks and figure everything out, but I don’t know,” Fromm said. “We’ll figure it out.”
Working out the details of a last minute flight would be a good problem for Fromm though.
“It would be a dream come true, something I’ve always wanted to do as a kid growing up,” Fromm said. “Having a chance, especially for an organization like the New York Giants, would be incredible.”
What to expect from Fromm on Sunday if he does get the start?
“A lot of effort, a guy who’s going to make good decisions,” Fromm said. “Just be accurate with the ball, move the chains and score some points.”