New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur named Daniel Jones as the team’s starting quarterback for Week 3, sending Eli Manning to the backup role after an 0-2 start to the 2019 season.
“Eli and I spoke this morning,” Shurmur said Tuesday. “I told him that we are making a change and going with Daniel as the starter. I also talked to Daniel. Eli was obviously disappointed, as you would expect, but he said he would be what he has always been, a good teammate, and continue to prepare to help this team win games. Daniel understands the challenge at hand, and he will be ready to play on Sunday.”
The Giants play the Buccaneers (1-1) on Sunday in Tampa to kick off the Jones Era.
Manning, 38, won two Super Bowls with the Giants and was the top overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. The Giants acquired Manning from the Chargers on draft day for Philip Rivers. Of the last 245 games the Giants have played with Manning, including 12 in the playoffs, Manning has started 244 times.
Shurmur planted the seed for a change on Monday, when he said all positions were going to be reviewed.
The Giants lost at home to Buffalo on Sunday after dropping the opener to the Dallas Cowboys.
Manning completed 56 of 89 passes for 556 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions through two games.
Jones, 22, was selected with the sixth overall pick in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He sparkled in the preseason, setting up a potential in-season conflict with Manning. Jones was 29-for-34 passing for 416 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions over four preseason games.
“Ultimately, this is a move that I felt was best for this team at this time,” Shurmur said. “I have said it since I got here, I am very fond of Eli. His work ethic, his preparation, his football intelligence. All those attributes are as good as I have ever seen in a player. And Eli worked as hard as you could ask of anybody to get ready for this season. This move is more about Daniel moving forward than about Eli.”
Jones will pair with 2018 first-round pick Saquon Barkley in the backfield on Sunday, bringing the projected future core of the team to the present.
Barkley did not directly discuss the quarterback situation on Monday but said the team needed to get “back to playing Giants football.”
Manning said Sunday he was disappointed the team was 0-2 and took his share of the blame for not getting the job done despite the offense averaging 420 yards per game. The Giants have only four touchdowns this season.
“When you’re 0-2, there’s pressure on everybody. You can’t have that affect you. I’ve got to make better throws, better plays, find ways to convert on third downs. That’s the quarterback’s job,” Manning said Sunday.
Jones could be tasked with moving the ball against the Buccaneers without several top receivers. Golden Tate has two games remaining on his season-opening suspension, Sterling Shepard (concussion protocol) was out last week and Cody Latimer left the loss to the Bills with a concussion.