Daniel Jones ‘Big Play shows the giants’ bullheaded approach

0
73

NYT > Sports

The longest game on Sunday’s Giants’ first touchdown drive included Daniel Jones and a bouncing, one-handed reception.

Jones, the Giants quarterback, didn’t throw the ball. He got it.

And when he caught it while rocking the high pass near the Carolina’s sideline, he was hit. Heavy. Coming from the left, Panther’s safety slapped Sean Chandler Jones’ helmet – it seemed by mistake – with his own. Jones’ helmet slammed onto the lawn.

He got up right away.

But Jones didn’t do it two weeks ago. He suffered a concussion in a brutal helmet-to-helmet collision during the Giants’ defeat in Dallas. Dazed, he struggled walking and was eventually carted off the field as part of the NFL’s five-step concussion protocol. But he passed protocol in time to play the Los Angeles Rams last week, and he was healthy on Sunday when Jones handed the ball over about five minutes before the end of the third quarter and then ran downstairs for a pass wait.

The outcome of both the gadget game (a 16 yard win) and the game itself (a 25-3 Giants win) overshadowed the most important aspect of the whole endeavor: why was it mentioned in the face of Jones’ new head injury? ?

That question wasn’t asked later, but coach Joe Judge discussed Jones’s harshness. He definitely showed it, said Richter.

Had he been asked – and, more relevantly, been truthful in his answer – the judge might have said that the Giants (2-5), whose jobs are at risk in another chaotic season, must, and have, win games decided that at that time their version of the famous Philly Special would be played, would help them with that.

Or that with so many injured offensive starters – their three best receivers, their starting links tackle and their returning star – the Giants had to compensate for their loss of talent with creativity.

Because every snap puts players at risk of injury, there is no need to hold anything back. That would be considered scared and contrary to the ethos Judge held when asked why he’d left Jones for the entire 38:11 loss to the Rams last week: “We’re going to play for 60 minutes.”

In the zero-sum NFL, where players’ livelihoods are dependent on their availability, this is a crucial test of craving. No part of the body is safe in a sport full of violent blows, where helmets and pads protect but not isolate, and every game seems like a 22-car pile-up. Every participant – from coach to player – not only understands this gloomy reality, but accepts it. Sometimes they reappear after an injury. Sometimes they don’t.

Patrick Mahomes was lucky enough to avoid a serious head injury on Sunday after absorbing a knee on his helmet in the Kansas City defeat in Tennessee. Like Jones versus Dallas, Mahomes was stunned and needed help getting off the field. Unlike Jones, Mahomes passed the protocol for a concussion and although coach Andy Reid held him up for the rest of the game, he was allowed to speak to the media afterward.

“I feel good now,” Mahomes said, and later added, “You’re getting hit pretty hard. Sometimes you just want to lie there. “

It’s possible that Jones felt the same way on Sunday. But like so many others, he prides himself on his resilience – his toughness. His Charlotte Latin School football coach, Larry McNulty, loves to tell the story of how Jones was hit so hard as a skinny high school student that McNulty thought he was dead. The blow only detached Jones’ helmet and mouthpiece. He got up from the grass, looked McNulty in the eye, and said, “Get me a damn helmet.”

That attitude, coupled with Jones’ athleticism, made him popular with the Giants in the 2019 draft, and it forces the team’s offensive coordinator, Jason Garrett, to call out runs for him to take advantage of his speed. Against Dallas, Jones couldn’t overtake two defenders on one goalkeeper to the endzone pylon, and linebacker Jabril Cox stabbed him with his helmet. When asked about the piece four days later, Garrett said that they would be “foolish” not to use Jones’ ability as a runner, but that they “certainly need to be aware” not to put him in dangerous situations.

“You don’t want to overdo this and put him in danger,” Garrett said. “I think we understand more and more. He understands more and more the balance between these. “

He added that he doubted there was anything else Jones could have done to avoid injury.

“This is professional football,” he said. “People go out there, he tries to do a play, they try to do a play and unfortunately it didn’t work out for us.”

It is unlikely that Garrett intended for that statement to end up like this. But using that phrase – it didn’t work out for us – is quite a euphemism for the quarterback suffering a head injury.

Jones, lucky enough to have avoided another one on Sunday, said he wasn’t sure Chandler’s helmet hit his. He should have a look, he said. And he can. It’s on film for all to see.

Source Link

Leave a Reply