NEW YORK — Tyrod Taylor became the first Black quarterback to win a game for the Giants in the franchise’s 99-year history with last Sunday’s 14-7 victory over the Washington Commanders.
Taylor accomplished the feat as only the second Black QB ever to start a game for the organization. The Giants were founded in 1925.
“It means a lot,” Taylor, 34, said Wednesday. “I didn’t know that going into it. If I’m not mistaken, I think I did it at another organization, as well [Los Angeles Chargers]. But I mean it’s history. Proud to be part of it.
“Ultimately, I’m proud of the guys and the way they competed this past weekend,” the veteran added. “Something to build off of. There’s a lot of positives from that game. I look forward to continuing to keep, if given the opportunity, competing with the guys on Sundays and going out there and striving for a win.”
Brian Daboll reiterated Wednesday that Daniel Jones (neck) will be the team’s starting quarterback whenever he gets healthy, although the coach wouldn’t explain why.
“I’m not getting into that,” Daboll said.
It still appears Taylor is on track to make his third straight start for the Giants (2-5) Sunday against the Jets (3-3) at MetLife Stadium, with Jones still limited at practice and experiencing symptoms.
So far, Taylor has played steadily in two starts against the Bills and Commanders. He took a solid step with two touchdown passes in the win over Washington.
Back in 2017, Geno Smith became the first Black quarterback ever to start a game for the Giants when he played in place of a benched Eli Manning on the road against the Oakland Raiders.
Smith’s start made the Giants the last NFL franchise to start a Black quarterback in a regular season game.
But the Giants lost to the Raiders, the fan base became enraged, and ownership fired head coach Ben McAdoo and GM Jerry Reese the very next day.
Fast forward to 2023 in Week 6 at Buffalo, and Taylor fell a yard short of a win in his first Giants start in a 14-9 defeat.
But Sunday, he got the ‘W.’ And that prompted several of Taylor’s teammates, including Saquon Barkley, to share social media posts championing the history their quarterback had made.
“I feel comfortable in our offense,” Taylor said.
Taylor’s teammates feel fortunate to have him.
Jones still not symptom free
Jones (neck) said “I feel good,” and he still believes he’ll be back sometime this season. But he admitted he has sought “different opinions from doctors” and he still isn’t symptom free.
That’s why he still isn’t cleared for contact and remains unable to compete in team periods.
“There are still some symptoms there,” he said. “I think there’s certain symptoms they’re looking for and testing for from a pain level and based on how I feel. I feel good. And that’s been the communication … There’s certain things I haven’t done yet.”
Jones said he is able to throw, run and lift weights. So getting cleared for contact is the final step. He revealed that “from the get-go,” the evaluation of his improvement was “kind of a week-to-week thing,” indicating this was always going to be longer term.
Jones said he remains confident he will play again this season, though, because “it’s a different injury” from his neck injury in 2021. He also said he is aware of other NFL players who have returned from this same injury.
“You see other guys who have similar situations as mine and they’re able to progress and come back,” Jones said. “I’m following a similar timeline to that. That’s kind of the optimism.”
Asked which players had comparable injuries to his, Jones wouldn’t divulge more information.
“There’s been a number of — it’s just a football injury,” he said. “And you know, people in the past have had it.”
Waller, Thibs limited
Tight end Darren Waller (hamstring) and edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux (knee) were new names on the Giants injury report Wednesday.
Running back Gary Brightwell (hamstring) and defensive lineman Leonard Williams (rest) didn’t practice. And a ton of players were limited: Jones (neck), Barkley (elbow), Waller, Thibodeaux, left tackle Andrew Thomas (hamstring), right tackle Evan Neal (ankle), center John Michael Schmitz (shoulder), corner Adoree Jackson (neck) and kicker Graham Gano (left knee).
Waller wasn’t on the field when the media was observing practice, either.
Thomas and Neal did band work and didn’t participate in the offensive line’s drills while the media was able to observe at the beginning of practice. So it is hard to be optimistic about either’s status for Sunday.
Thomas said it was the “first time I’ve put a helmet on in a while.” And he said the training staff “want to limit and not just cut me loose because there is a chance you can make it worse with soft tissue.” He hasn’t played since Week 1.