Daniel Jones 'big game shows giants' brash approach

The Giants’ longest touchdown game on Sunday involved Daniel Jones and a bouncy one-handed reception. Jones, the Giants quarterback, di...


The Giants’ longest touchdown game on Sunday involved Daniel Jones and a bouncy one-handed reception.

Jones, the Giants quarterback, did not throw the ball. He grabbed it.

And when he grabbed it, cradling the high pass near Carolina’s sideline, he was hit. Hard. Coming in from the left, Panthers goaltender Sean Chandler slammed Jones’ helmet – accidentally, it seems – with his own. Jones’s helmet slammed against the grass.

He got up.

But two weeks ago, Jones didn’t. He suffered a concussion in a brutal helmet-to-helmet collision in the Giants’ loss to Dallas. Stunned, he struggled to walk and was eventually taken off the field as part of the NFL’s Five-Step Concussion Protocol. But he passed protocol in time to play last week against the Los Angeles Rams, and he was in good health on Sunday when, with about five minutes left in the third quarter, Jones handed the ball over and then ran down. to wait for a pass.

The result of both the gadget game (a 16-yard gain) and the game itself (a 25-3 Giants victory) overshadowed the most important aspect of the whole effort: why , given Jones’ recent head injury, was he even called out at all?

This question was not posed subsequently to coach Joe Judge, who however discussed Jones’ tenacity. He definitely showed it, the judge said.

Had he been asked – and, more relevantly, been truthful in his answer – the judge could have said the Giants (2-5), with jobs at risk in the midst of another rambling season, must win games. , and they determined that playing their version of the famous Philly Special at that point would help them do that.

Or that with so many injured offensive starters – their top three receivers, their starting left tackle and star running back – the Giants had to make up for their talent drain with creativity.

Or that because every snap puts players at risk of injury, there’s no reason to hold anything back. It would be seen as a game of fear and contradict the philosophy adopted by Judge, when asked why he left Jones for the entirety of last week’s 38-11 loss to the Rams: “We’re going to fight. for 60 minutes. “

It’s a defining test of desire in the zero-sum NFL, where players’ livelihoods depend on their availability. In a sport riddled with violent blows, where helmets and pads protect but do not isolate and where each game seems to evoke a pile-up of 22 cars, no part of the body is immune. Every participant – from coaches to players – not only understands this grim reality, but embraces it. Sometimes, after being injured, they reappear. Sometimes they don’t.

Patrick Mahomes was fortunate on Sunday to have escaped a serious head injury after absorbing a helmet knee in Kansas City’s loss to Tennessee. Like Jones against Dallas, Mahomes was stunned and needed help getting off the pitch. Unlike Jones, Mahomes adopted the concussion protocol and, although coach Andy Reid held it on for the rest of the game, was allowed to speak with the media afterwards.

“I feel great now,” Mahomes said, later adding, “You’re pretty hard hit. Sometimes you just want to lay there.

It is possible that Jones also felt this on Sunday. But he, like so many others, is proud of his resilience, of his tenacity. His Charlotte Latin School football coach Larry McNulty likes to share how, as a sophomore in high school, Jones was punched so hard McNulty thought he was dead. The blow simply dislodged Jones’ helmet and mouthpiece. Climbing up from the grass, he looked McNulty in the eye and said, “Get me a fucking helmet.”

This attitude, coupled with Jones’ athleticism, made him endearing to the Giants in the 2019 draft, and it forces the team’s offensive coordinator, Jason Garrett, to call races for him, to take advantage of his speed. . Against Dallas, Jones couldn’t outrun two defenders to the end zone pylon on a goalie, and linebacker Jabril Cox pierced him with his helmet. Garrett, when asked about the game four days later, said they would be “foolish” not to capitalize on Jones’ abilities as a runner, but should be “certainly aware” not to put him in. dangerous situations.

“You don’t want to overdo it and endanger him,” Garrett said. “I think we understand more and more. He increasingly understands the balance between these.

He added that he doubted Jones could have done anything else to avoid the injuries.

“It’s professional football,” he said. “The guys go over there, he’s trying to do a play, they try to do a play and unfortunately it didn’t work for us.”

It is unlikely that Garrett wanted this statement to land the way it did. But to use that expression – it didn’t work for us – is quite an understatement for the quarterback who suffered a head injury.

Jones, lucky to have avoided another Sunday, said he’s not sure Chandler’s helmet touched his. He would have to look at it, he said. And he can. It’s on film, for all to see.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Daniel Jones 'big game shows giants' brash approach
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