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Giants-Commanders storylines: 3 things to watch

Giants set to begin a stretch where it seems more realistic to expect some victories

New York Giants v Buffalo Bills
Daniel Jones and Eli Manning before Sunday’s game in Buffalo.
Photo by Bryan Bennett/Getty Images

The New York Giants, seeking to get their 1-5 season turned around, host the Washington Commanders on Sunday. Here are some of the storylines.

Daniel Jones’ status

Jones and coach Brian Daboll tried to paint an optimistic picture last week that Jones might not miss any time with the neck injury he suffered Week 5 against the Miami Dolphins.

That turned out to be nonsense as Jones missed the Week 6 game against the Buffalo Bills. Now, the question is whether or not the quarterback will be ready to play this weekend? The quarterback did not seem optimistic when he spoke Tuesday to Kay Adams on the ‘Up & Adams Show.’

Jones did not practice this week. We will find out around noon if he will practice on Wednesday. If he doesn’t, I would expect Tyrod Taylor at quarterback again.

Am I worried about the long-term with Jones’ health? The Giants and Jones are saying not to be, but this is his second neck injury in three seasons. Until he gets back on the field, it is hard not to have some level of concern.

Who’s walking the line?

The Giants’ beleaguered offensive line continued to be shuffled this week. Fill-in left tackle Joshua Ezeudu went to IR. Jalen Mayfield, just added to the 53-man roster last week, was cut and is back on the practice squad. Tyre Phillips (finally) is back. Offensive tackle Josh Miles was poached off the Atlanta Falcons’ practice squad.

Left tackle Andrew Thomas has not practiced in several weeks and it seems likely it will be a while before we see him play again. The status of starting center John Michael Schmitz (shoulder), who has missed two games, remains uncertain. After his incredible effort Sunday night, Justin Pugh (for now, at least) is back on the practice squad.

Who plays Sunday vs. Washington and how they line up, especially on the left side, is anybody’s guess. Pugh figures to be a part of that group, but at which spot? And who lines up next to him?

A softened schedule?

After a brutal six-game stretch to open the season, the Giants now face a part of their schedule where victories could be more realistic.

Of their next eight games — Commanders, New York Jets, at Las Vegas Raiders, at Dallas Cowboys, at Commanders, New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers, at New Orleans Saints — only the 4-2 Cowboys have a record above .500.

No games are ever easy, witness the Week 2 game vs. the Arizona Cardinals, but there are winnable games in that stretch. Including this Sunday, against a Washington team that comes in 3-3 and is favored by DraftKings Sportsbook.

Let’s see if the Giants can take advantage and earn a few victories.