Dec 202021
 
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Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (December 19, 2021)

Sterling Shepard – © USA TODAY Sports

ROSTER MOVES – SEASON OVER FOR DANIEL JONES AND STERLING SHEPARD…
The New York Giants have placed QB Daniel Jones (neck) and WR Sterling Shepard (Achilles’ tendon) on Injured Reserve. The season is officially over for both players. Jones suffered the neck injury on November 28th against the Philadelphia Eagles and has missed the last three games. Shepard ruptured his Achilles’ tendon late in the game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

Senior Vice President, Medical Services/Head Athletic Trainer Ronnie Barnes released the following statement on Jones: “Over the course of the past few weeks, Daniel has been examined by Dr. Frank Cammisa of Hospital for Special Surgery and Dr. Robert Watkins of the Marina Spine Center at Marina Del Rey Hospital. Our medical team has continued to consult with Dr. Cammisa and Dr. Watkins regarding Daniel’s condition and symptoms, and at this point, Daniel has not been cleared for contact. We felt the prudent decision was to place Daniel on injured reserve for the remainder of the season. With continued rest and treatment, we expect a full recovery.”

To fill these roster spots, the Giants signed LB Jaylon Smith and CB Jarren Williams to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad. In addition, CB Keion Crossen was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List.

DECEMBER 20, 2021 JOE JUDGE PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Joe Judge addressed the media on Monday to discuss his team’s 21-6 loss to the Dallas Cowboys:

Opening Statement:I appreciate your patience. The organization has already released a statement most of you guys are aware of. Over the last few weeks, there have been a lot of discussions and conversations between the organization and the medical team concerning (Quarterback) Daniel Jones and his return to play. Over the last 24 hours, there has been a lot more conversation and based on the information from the medical team and their belief in a timetable for Daniel’s full recovery, and their belief with rest and treatment that he’ll return to full health, they deemed that the remainder of this season he should be shut down to give him that time to heal. I’ve been adamant in saying that with all the information we’ve been given from the doctors involved and the medical team that there is no, at this moment, concern for a long-term injury, that this is more of a precautionary measure to make sure it’s something that isn’t aggravated or agitated before it’s healed and it doesn’t turn into something as chronic or long-term. I’m not going to speak for Daniel on this in terms of how he feels. I think it’s clear that he’s a guy that always wants to be out there with the team. He’s very competitive, he’s a great leader on the team, a big team player. I’ll let him speak for himself in time. At this time, our concern is on Daniel’s health. He’s been doing a good job. He’s out there moving very functionally, but ultimately this is about making sure that his neck has a full recovery before we put him out there and before he’s cleared for contact. That being said, I’ll open up to any questions you have.

Q: Obviously, we have to move on at the quarterback position, so with (Quarterback) Jake (Fromm), how did you feel he looked yesterday? After talking to your staff and everything and after his evaluation, do you feel there’s a possibility that he starts Sunday? Is he going to be your guy?

A: We’re going to look at (Quarterback) Mike (Glennon) and Jake throughout this week. We’ll watch Jake practice and we’ll make the decision going into the game. I’d say in terms of his performance yesterday in the game, obviously he came in at the end of the game, was able to move the offense, really give them a spark. Thought he moved the ball well, thought he made some good decisions, good sharp decisions. Showed good ball security in the pocket on the one he got hit on with the rush up the middle. Did a good job functioning within the operation. Thought he got the guys up to the line, got the call in, was able to navigate through the situation to put accurate passes on our receivers and give them a chance to make plays. Jake did enough to be in consideration. We’ll see how practice goes. Obviously, there’s a big difference between starting an entire NFL game and coming in at the end of the game when the team is playing more of a two-minute prevent mode. That’s not a knock on Jake, it’s just the reality and the truth. We’ll get Mike and Jake ready for this week and we’ll make the determination of who’s going to start at a later time.

Q: What’s the future right now – for Daniel Jones – look like in regards to anything he has to do? Is surgery an option? Does he just have to rest or is there anything else he can do at this point?

A: At this point, it’s just rest. It’s rest, it’s treatment, it’s continuing on with some of the rehab type of exercises he would do for it. This is really contact-based. There’s no surgery that’s even being talked about or mentioned at this point. Surgery is not an option at this point. There’s nothing that would lead us to believe that he would need surgery for this. It’s purely a timetable deal as far as this injury. Again, the medical team has been monitoring how the neck has progressed over the last few weeks. They didn’t think they saw enough progress to clear him for contact and with the time remaining in the season, they didn’t believe it was going to be the smartest move to put him out there. They didn’t think he would be fully healed within that timetable and the best thing for him right now is to start on having a full recovery with rest and treatment.

Q: You guys have been going, obviously, week-to-week with this, looking at scans, getting hopes up, then getting hopes down. Does this maybe help with some clarity for everybody? And can you just talk about maybe what a downer this is for you and for Daniel that your starting quarterback is going to miss the last six games of the season here?

A: Obviously, you want to have Daniel on the field. This is a guy that works hard. He’s obviously a key part of our team. He worked really hard in the offseason, made a lot of gains. Saw a lot of progress throughout different parts of the season with him. You want to get Daniel on the field. It’s a quarterback-driven league and obviously Daniel’s our quarterback. That being said, we’ve got to get all of the players ready to play. It’s a great opportunity for Mike and Jake to step up and help this team have success. In terms of the clarity part of the question, I don’t really think that’s been an issue. We’ve kind of planned accordingly internally and the players have gone ahead and responded the right way and kept on moving forward. In terms of any kind of clarity of preparation, I don’t think that’s been an issue at all.

Q: Just from the football perspective, you’re missing a big period of evaluation here on Daniel. You’ve got a decision on his fifth-year option coming this offseason. Have you seen enough to know that he’s your guy going forward?

A: Yeah, I’ve seen enough growth from Daniel to tell us that he’s a guy we want to go ahead and play with. In terms of the business aspect of it and different things, I’ll let different departments of this organization handle that stuff. I’ll coach the players. When it comes down to Daniel, our concern right now is getting him back and healthy, and getting him prepared for next year.

Q: After listening to you for the last three or four weeks, you’ve been talking about a strained neck. If you’re shutting him down for the season, it sounds like it’s more than a strained neck.

A: It’s a sprained neck and, again, I wouldn’t go ahead and put any diagnosis out there off of assumptions. I think that that would be irresponsible. I would just say the doctors who have dealt with him directly, who get paid a lot of money for their medical expertise, made the decision that he needs more time and that’s what we’re going to give him.

Q: I know you said that you’re confident that this isn’t going to be a long-term issue once it heals. Does that mean once it heals and he’s back on the field ostensibly in the fall next year that he will be in no danger of having a setback with it or it happening again?

A: That is the conversation we had this morning at length and we’ve had over the course of the past few weeks, but we had that conversation at length this morning. That’s a question I specifically asked repeatedly to make sure and from what I was told, that is the case, that this would not be an issue going forward if we give this time now to heal fully. This would not be something we have to worry about in the future at all. That’s what I was told.

Q: Obviously, the quarterback situation is something we’ve covered and will continue to cover this week. You guys have another COVID-positive today or at least (Defensive Back) Keion Crossen was placed on the list. You made two signings with (Linebacker) Jaylon (Smith) and (Cornerback) Jarren (Williams). Do you anticipate kind of an upside-down week the same way you did last week? How are you guys handling this moving forward knowing that there are a lot of moving pieces still and a lot of things up in the air?

A: I think we’re just used to the moving pieces. We just go ahead and we get everybody ready, and that kind of helps you with the adjustments you have to make. We don’t get so locked into it has to be this guy or this guy and then when one of those two are removed, all of a sudden you’re in disarray. That’s not really how we operate around here. We’re getting everybody ready. Not having Keion, obviously, that’s a player we want to have for his roles in the kicking game and also on defense for depth. But, we’ll have the guys who are available to us, we’ll know more through tomorrow and we’ll plan accordingly. There’s an opportunity for some guys to come off the COVID list before the game and we’ll see what that’s going to entail in terms of the ramp up period and whether or not they’ll be available, or have a realistic chance to go out there and play for us. We’ll get everyone prepared, whether it’s in person or through Zoom, make sure we monitor everybody’s health, make sure, number one, that they’re healthy and, number two, that when we put them on the field we can assure they can go out there, function, operate and be safe.

Some of the guys will get back at an earlier date. We expect to have KT (Wide Receiver Kadarius Toney) back in the building with us midweek and get him moving out there and we’ll see how he looks. Obviously, he missed some time from injury and now with COVID. We’ll see how that set him back and give him the opportunity to go out there, move around and see if he can help us this week or not. We’ll get everybody prepared and ready. In terms of the signings, Jaylon and Jarren, I thought Jaylon got in the game yesterday and obviously had about four to six hours of coaching to get him ready for the game. Had a walkthrough with the defense. I really liked the way this guy responded and he’s been a pleasure to coach in the short window we’ve had. He went out there, he played fast, he’s able to go ahead and get his hat on a few people to make some plays. Obviously, it’s very new to him in this system, but I liked the way he responded. I liked the temperament he plays with, I like the look in his eyes when you meet with him in terms of being locked in and engaged to what’s going on in the meetings. He’s been a pleasure to have in the program so far. We’ll keep him involved as well and grow his role throughout this week. Jarren’s a guy that’s been doing a decent job for us playing defense, some roles in the kicking game. He’ll continue to progress his roles. He’s a guy that was set back a little bit with injury early in the season and really kind of stunted some of his growth and development, but he’s done a good job since being back with us on making some strides and he’s done some things that have really grown within him. I think he’s a guy that’s got a future that we can go ahead and keep on developing with, but I like the way Jarren works and I think there’s some upside with him as a player. He definitely has the right attitude as a person.

Q: To go back to Daniel, in the past you talked a lot about his toughness and we’ve seen him play through some tough injuries in the past. I’m curious how he took the news and if you could share what your message was to him going through this.

A: First thing I want to touch on is exactly what you started the question off with in terms of toughness. This injury is in no way, shape or form a reflection of a lack of toughness, I can assure everyone that. He’s been chomping at the bit, doing his best to get out there and do everything that’s been asked of him. This is a decision that’s out of the hands of a player, out of the hands of a coaching staff. This is a medical decision and we’re not going to put anybody on the field who’s at risk of injury. Daniel in this case, they believe, would be in that category, so we’re not going to do something that puts him at risk. In terms of what we expect from him, continue being a good teammate, continuing to just work and stay in shape, get healthy, keep progressing with his knowledge of the system and the offense, keep being a leader and a good teammate and stay active and engaged and communicating with the coaches and the players as he’s been doing throughout the entire time he’s been hurt.

Q: Everybody is hoping for the best for Daniel, but that said, (Quarterback) Mike (Glennon) is going to be a free agent this season. You don’t know for sure what’s going to happen with Daniel. You’re optimistic he will be okay, but you don’t know for sure. That said, do you feel that addressing the quarterback spot is going to have to be something you’re going to have to look into this offseason?

A: This has nothing to do with Daniel. I trust the medical team and the information we’re given. We expect a full recovery and our vision would be to move forward with Daniel in the future. I’ll let the business part take care of the business part. We’re always looking at our depth charts and rosters, not just for this year, but as they go into future years and you can only do that based on what the current contracts lock you into. As we get to the free agency part and the draft part, we’ll address that, but we look at every position on our team and evaluate it every year in terms of what’s the best thing we can do to improve our team and keep moving forward.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off on Tuesday and return to practice on Wednesday.

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Eric Kennedy

Eric Kennedy is Editor-in-Chief of BigBlueInteractive.com, a publication of Big Blue Interactive, LLC. Follow @BigBlueInteract on Twitter.

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