Travel logistics aside, the main question for the New York Giants is the health of their quarterbacks as they head into Sunday’s matchup against the Green Bay Packers in London.
Starting quarterback Daniel Jones suffered an ankle sprain in the Giants 20-12 win over the Chicago Bears, and backup Tyrod Taylor left after sustaining a concussion. Jones returned, but was extremely limited, and running back Saquon Barkley operated late out of the wildcat.
Jones practiced on Wednesday, while Taylor remained in concussion protocol.
“I’m not surprised, he’s a pretty tough individual,” Giants coach Brian Daboll said of Jones. “I think he’s made a lot of progress since after the game and he’s been in the treatment room pretty consistently throughout these last couple days, so we’ll put him out there, give him some reps and see where he’s at.”
The only other quarterback on the roster is Davis Webb, currently on the practice squad, who has never thrown a pass in a regular season game.
Both teams are 3-1. The Giants are tied with Dallas, one game behind undefeated Philadelphia in the NFC East. Green Bay is coming off a 27-24 overtime victory over New England at home. The Packers have won three straight since a season-opening loss at Minnesota, which shares the NFC North lead with Green Bay.
Green Bay is making its first trip to London, while the Giants played there in 2007 and 2016.
“The preparation is going to be absolutely critical, especially the mental preparation, because you’re going to be out of rhythm in terms of your schedule, the practice schedule,” said Packers coach Matt LaFleur. “And, you try to keep it as normal as possible like a typical week. But, let’s face it, it’s anything but.”
Barclay rushed for 146 yards against the Bears as the Giants pounded out 262 yards on the ground. Jones had two rushing touchdowns before he was hurt.
The Giants defense held the Bears to four field goals and 304 yards total offense. New York also recovered three Chicago fumbles. The Giants are 10th in team defense, eighth against the pass, but 28th in run defense.
In addition to Taylor, cornerback Cor’Dale Flott (calf); wide receivers Kenny Golladay (knee) and Richie James (ankle); safety Julian Love (concussion); defensive lineman Henry Mondeaux (ankle); and linebacker Azeez Ojulari (calf) did not practice Wednesday.
In addition to Jones, cornerbacks Nick McCloud (hamstring) and Fabian Moreau (foot); offensive tackle Evan Neal (neck); wide receivers Wan’Dale Robinson (knee) and Kadarius Toney (hamstring); and defensive tackle Leonard Williams (knee) had limited participation.
The Packers held New England to 167 yards on the ground but gave up an 11-play drive in the first quarter that resulted in a field goal, and third-quarter touchdown drives of 65 and 66 yards.
The Packers outgained New England, 443-271, getting 199 yards on the ground, including 110 from Aaron Jones and 73 from AJ Dillon. Aaron Rodgers passed for 251 yards and two touchdowns, but also threw a pick-six.
Preparing for the 38-year-old Rodgers, who has six TDs and three interceptions this season, always is a challenge, Daboll said.
“He’s fun to watch when you’re not getting ready to play him,” Daboll said of the four-time MVP. “I’ll be watching their offense, and naturally you’re watching 12 (Rodgers) and things he does, and how he moves people, and accuracy, and off-schedule plays, and checks and things he does. He’s as good as it gets. And he’s a hard quarterback to defend.”
The Packers are 21st in total offense and seventh in rushing, but 16th in passing as Rodgers still tries to adjust to the offseason loss of Davante Adams. Green Bay is seventh in team defense and third against the pass, but 22nd against the run, allowing 126.8 yards per game.
Packers safety Adrian Amos (concussion) did not practice. Cornerback Jaire Alexander (groin; offensive linemen David Bakhtiari (knee), Elgton Jenkins (knee) and Josh Myers (foot); safety Tariq Carpenter (abdomen); wide receiver Allen Lazard (ankle); and defensive end Devonte Wyatt (quadricep) had limited participation.
–Field Level Media