Giants QB room in peril: Why Daniel Jones will likely miss Chargers game, and a key coach is also out with CO – nj.com

Giants QB room in peril: Why Daniel Jones will likely miss Chargers game, and a key coach is also out with CO – nj.com
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TUCSON, Ariz. — The Giants weren’t even in Arizona for their getaway for a full 24 hours before they lost yet another important member of the quarterback room.

Two members of the organization tested positive for COVID-19, Joe Judge said on Monday. That includes quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski and offensive lineman Wes Martin. Both are now in jeopardy of missing the Giants’ upcoming game on Dec. 12 against the Chargers in Los Angeles.

Schuplinski’s absence — he’s still involved virtually — only adds to what has become a messy situation at quarterback for the Giants — and there wasn’t really any positive news on that front either. Daniel Jones missed the Dolphins game with a neck strain suffered the week before and was already expected to miss the Chargers game, too. Jones met with team doctors on Monday in Arizona and, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, he’s unlikely to play in Los Angeles.

There is a distinct possibility the injury lingers beyond that too.

Mike Glennon started in Jones’ place against Miami, but he suffered a concussion late in the game and can’t play until he clears the NFL’s concussion protocols, putting his status for the Chargers game in jeopardy too.

So, that leaves the Giants currently with two options at quarterback: Jake Fromm and Brian Lewerke, who is on the practice squad and has never taken an NFL snap. Fromm was only signed off the Bills practice squad last week, and he also has yet to play in an NFL game.

The most likely scenario: Fromm starts for the Giants on Sunday against the Chargers.

“We’ll get Jake and Brian ready for the game based on whatever we may have to do,” Judge said, adding that the Giants will have some “emergency plans” at quarterback too. Some other non-quarterbacks with quarterbacking experience either in college or high school include wide receiver Kadarius Toney, safety Logan Ryan and punter Riley Dixon.

It’s still possible the Giants look to add another quarterback to the practice squad before Sunday to give them more options, though it’s not as if free agency is flooded with appealing players. Among the available options: Blake Bortles and Clayton Thorson, who was with the Giants in training camp. Duck Hodges (six career starts) also had a tryout with the Giants in camp.

More likely, the Giants will just roll with Fromm as the starter and Lewerke as the backup this week — unless Glennon is cleared before Sunday.

Fromm was lauded for his toughness, confidence and accuracy coming out of Georgia, though some scouting reports knocked his lack of physical traits (size, athleticism, arm strength) before the Bills picked him in the fifth round last year.

“He’s an intelligent guy. He’s demonstrated that already,” Judge said. “He’s got very good poise out there and he has a very good presence. One of the things that’s very impressive about this guy is you talk to former teammates of his … and every single one of them lit up and said, ‘We’d absolutely love to have that guy on the team.’ He’s got a very good presence. He’s a good teammate. He’s got leadership qualities about him.

“He’s got a lot of intangibles,” Judge said. “In terms of him as a player, he’s shown at practice a good competitiveness and the ability to go out there and handle some different situations.”

Since signing with the Giants last week, Fromm had been spending extra time with Schuplinski and quality control coach Nick Williams to speed up the process of learning the Giants’ offensive system. For now at least, Schuplinski will only be able to work with Fromm virtually.

At least he has some familiar faces on the team: There are six former Georgia players on the Giants’ roster or practice squad, and all of them played for the Bulldogs within the last four years. That includes left tackle Andrew Thomas.

“Jake does well with seeing the whole offense, knowing what the defense is running, what pressures are coming, getting the ball to the right people, being the best leader he can,” Thomas said. “I think that’s something that he does really well.”

Fromm’s first starts won’t exactly be in the most ideal of circumstances either. The Giants are banged up on offense with both Kadarius Toney and Sterling Shepard injured at wide receiver. The offensive line (ranked 32nd by Pro Football Focus at pass-blocking) has struggled to protect whoever is at quarterback. And this is a Giants offense that has only mustered three offensive touchdowns in their last 17 quarters.

The Chargers, on the other hand, scored four offensive touchdowns in a win over the Bengals on Sunday.

Good luck, Fromm.

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Zack Rosenblatt may be reached at zrosenblatt@njadvancemedia.com.