New York Giants GM Joe Schoen was clear on Monday that he has to “plan for the worst, hope for the best” when it comes to quarterback Daniel Jones’ rehab from his torn ACL.
Schoen has been clear that the Giants, with uncertainty about Jones and with Tyrod Taylor heading to free agency, have to address quarterback this offseason. He said Monday that the Giants are “going to need somebody that can hopefully win you some games early on if he’s [Jones] not ready.”
That might be a high draft pick. It might be a veteran backup with significant starting experience. It might be both.
As Giants players packed bags and boxes in the locker room on Monday to head into the offseason, Jones wanted nothing to do with the discussion of who might join him in the team’s quarterback room next season.
“I’m just focused on what I’m doing and focused on getting healthy and getting back on the field and playing well,” Jones said. “It’s the NFL. The offseason brings about new things every year. I’ll focus on what I’m doing and focus on what I can do to help this team improve.
“I’m still very confident. Like any offseason, there will be areas to work on to improve and see where you can take a step forward. But still confident in myself, confident in the group, confident in what we’re doing here.”
Jones was clear on Monday that he expects to be ready to play when the 2024 season opens.
“I do, yeah,” Jones said.
“Rehab is going well, making progress, and plugging along. It’s going well so far and just kind of keep doing the same thing, keep working hard and working with the trainers here.”
Only a few weeks removed from surgery, Jones can’t run. He also can’t throw from a standing position, though there was a report over the weekend that he has been throwing from a sitting position. Jones said Monday he is currently focused on strengthening his quad, hamstring and the muscles surrounding his surgically repaired knee.
“I’m going to focus on my rehab and making sure I’m doing everything I need to do there to get back healthy and get back on the field and then working on what I can do to improve,” said Jones, who will continue to work with the Giants’ athletic trainers at the team headquarters. “(It’s) the same thing that I do every offseason.
“I think we kind of take it one stage at a time and focus on what’s right in front of us. But definitely the goal is to be back by training camp, and I feel like I’m making good progress.”
Schoen, acknowledging “there’s a chance he’s [Jones] not ready Week 1,” is focused on contingency plans.
“I think, ultimately, we have to do something, whether it’s the draft or a free agent just because Tyrod’s contract is up. We have Tommy, who’s under contract, and then Daniel’s injury and the return to play and the uncertainty there,” Schoen said. “When free agency starts, the draft, whichever avenue we decide to take, we will address the position.”
Schoen also said his confidence in Jones, signed to a four-year, $160 million contract last offseason, has not wavered.
Jones has now had two neck injuries and the ACL in his five seasons. Schoen simply said “yes” when asked if he felt he could still build around a quarterback with that history.
“It’s football and guys get hurt. You can’t always predict it,” Schoen said. “I think guys who have previous injuries – you’ve got to look at the injuries individually and what they were and how they were caused but I’ve got a lot of faith in our training staff as well. So again, hopefully he’ll be back for Week 1. Again, we don’t have a crystal ball here, but we’ll continue to build the team the way we see best.”