EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — While the chances of star running back Saquon Barkley getting back on the field soon are increasing, the New York Giants may be without quarterback Daniel Jones on Sunday night against the Buffalo Bills.
Jones missed his second straight practice with a neck injury on Thursday, and his chances of playing on Sunday night seemed less likely.
Giants coach Brian Daboll did not say much about the injury before practice, adding the fifth-year quarterback’s status would be determined over the next few days.
The Giants (1-4) have lost three straight games, and it will be hard to beat the Bills (3-2) with veteran backup Tyrod Taylor making his first start since late in the 2021 season. He was playing for Houston that season. He signed with New York in 2022.
Jones had said on Wednesday he hoped to play in the game, but the final decision would be made by the team’s medical personnel. Jones will be familiar with the game plan, but making a start without practicing is difficult.
Jones hurt his neck in the fourth quarter of last Sunday’s 31-16 loss to Miami. Dolphins edge rusher Andrew Van Ginkel sacked Jones from the blind side, and the quarterback’s neck appeared to go forward and snap back in a whiplash-type of movement.
Jones, who signed a four-year, $160 million contract in the offseason, confirmed the injury was akin to whiplash. He missed the final six games of the 2021 season with a neck injury. But he said this one is different and not as concerning.
Jones was not in the locker room after practice Thursday.
Taylor and practice squad backup Tommy DeVito handled the snaps on Wednesday and Thursday in practice. Jones was not on the field. Taylor played three seasons for the Bills and started 43 games.
Daboll said Barkley, who sprained an ankle on Sept. 17, is close to returning, possibly against the Bills. He has missed three games.
After practice, Barkley said he has been steadily improving, but there are times his ankle hurts when he cuts. He added Jones’ status will not influence whether he plays.
“Just me as competitor, I want to be out there,” Barkley said. “I feel like that win, lose or draw. I like going out there, I like playing football. We get paid for it, but it’s something I’ve been doing since I was a kid. I enjoy it.”
Barkley was annoyed on Sunday when a fan yelled at Jones when he was in the medical tent following his injury. He said Jones would do anything to help the team win a Super Bowl.
“He just hurt his neck, and he’s sitting in a blue tent getting check on for his neck and you’ve got a fan just (curse at) him. That just doesn’t sit well with me,” Barkley said. “He’s helpless. He can’t do anything.”
Offensive coordinator Mike Kafka said the Giants are not changing how they approach the game. He called Taylor a veteran who controls the huddle, has a good arm and can use his legs to escape.
“You want to try out and pull out their strengths as much as you can,” Kafka said. “You want to try to eliminate as much weaknesses as you can. So, that’s what we are doing this week, is to put together the best plan for the players that are going to be out there.”
Taylor said he enjoyed his time with the Bills, but that’s in the past.
“We just have to take it one play at a time,” Taylor said. “It boils down to execution. I’d like to see all three phases playing a complementary and doing it at a high level.”
Jones is 104 of 151 for 884 yards, two touchdowns and six interceptions this season. He has been sacked 28 times playing behind a line decimated by injuries. The sixth pick in the 2019 draft has rushed for 197 yards and a touchdown.
Daboll also said left tackle Andrew Thomas, backup tackle Matt Peart, rookie center John Michael Schmitz and linebacker Azeez Ojulari also were not practicing Thursday. Tight end Darren Waller, linebacker Micah McFadden and receiver Wan’Dale Robinson returned to practice.
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