Quarterback Daniel Jones would be cleared to play if the New York Giants had a game this week, coach Brian Daboll said on Tuesday.
Jones missed the final six games, finishing the season on injured reserve, after suffering a neck injury Week 13 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Jones continued to practice for several weeks last season even after suffering what the Giants called a strained neck before being shut down and placed on IR. Even at the time the team said the only thing he was not cleared for was taking contact.
Jones said he was cleared at some point after the end of the 2021 regular season, calling the exact date “irrelevant.”
“We weren’t playing games and the season was over,” Jones said. “I feel good, I’ve been cleared and I’m ready to go.”
This, of course, is a critical season for the 25-year-old Jones. He is in the final season of his rookie contract and the Giants’ new regime of GM Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll chose not to pick up his fifth-year option.
That makes 2022 a “prove-it” year for the fourth-year quarterback, who still has yet to justify the Giants using the sixth overall pick on him in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Jones is working for his third head coach in four seasons, thus is learning his third offensive system.
Jones said he will stay in his new playbook once mini-camp ends on Thursday and that there is “more playbook-specific” work because the Giants are installing a new offense.
“The learning continues,” he said. “I’ll continue to study and continue to work on what we’ve started here. I don’t think you can afford to put it down and just come back during camp. I think everyone will be working to make sure we’re in a good spot and we’re coming back to camp ready to go.”
Jones has worked throughout the spring without wide receivers Kadarius Toney (arthroscopic knee surgery), Sterling Shepard (torn Achilles) and Kenny Golladay. Golladay, wearing a red non-contact jersey, did catch a few passes Tuesday during individual drills.
“I think those guys have done a good job working in meetings,” Jones said. “I think they’ve built a good foundation of understanding this offense. Obviously the reps are extremely valuable and we’ll need to get those, but I think all those guys have done a great job locking in, learning the offense, building a foundation so that when they can get out there they will be at full speed and we’ll be able to get what we need get done done.”
Daniel Jones throws to Kenny Golladay Tuesday on the last play of this three-play sequence. pic.twitter.com/gFRYNEN3KC— Big Blue View (@bigblueview) June 7, 2022
“They’ve thrown with Daniel before,” Daboll said. “They’ve done a good job. Again, you can learn different ways, and we’re just teaching them how we got to teach them right now.
“You would love for everybody to be out here, particularly the skill guys to get reps with the quarterback, but that doesn’t happen usually in most places. There is always some guy dinged up or you’re giving them an off day. We’ll get plenty in the summer here.”