The New York Giants are leading the NFC East heading into December, quite the surprise for a team that is tied for the fewest wins in the NFL over the past four years. New York's chances of being the upset winner of the division took a huge hit with Daniel Jones suffering a hamstring injury in the Giants' Week 12 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, as Jones did not practice Thursday -- with his status not looking good for Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks.
If Jones can't go, Colt McCoy is expected to get the start for New York. McCoy started nine games for Washington as the backup to Kirk Cousins and Alex Smith over the years, so he's familiar with playing in the division. Sunday will be McCoy's first start with the Giants after finishing 6 for 10 for 31 yards in relief of Jones last week.
With McCoy taking the first-team reps in practice this week, the Giants won't dial back their playbook to compensate for the veteran quarterback. Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett does want to make McCoy's life easier -- especially since he's facing the league's worst pass defense.
"I don't know that it's scale back or cut down. There's nothing mentally or physically that Colt is not capable of doing. I wouldn't look at it that way," Garrett said. "You're always trying to create an environment where your players are comfortable with what they're doing. There's a lot of plays in football. Let's run the ones that our quarterback likes to run and they're comfortable running. Let's run the ones that our linemen are good at, our runners are good at. The things our tight ends and our receivers do best. You're always trying to do that regardless of who's playing.
"Regardless of how many snaps they've played. You're probably a little bit more sensitive to that with a backup quarterback who hasn't had the backlog of reps that the other guys have had. I just think you're trying to customize it. I don't think you're cutting it down in any way."
Even though McCoy has plenty of experience filling in as a backup quarterback, he hasn't won a start since 2014 with Washington. The Giants, winners of three in a row for the first time since 2016, will need to rely on McCoy to carry an offense that ranks in the bottom five in scoring and yards per game -- a task Garrett is preparing McCoy for over the next few days.
"You just have to be mindful and understand that he is going into a game that's being played at full speed by guys who have been playing at that speed all throughout the year," Garrett said. "He has to kind of catch up to that speed, if you will. I thought Colt did a really good job last week in the game getting comfortable and allowing us to function as an offense. I thought he handled himself really well.
"You look for things in his past he's comfortable with. With you or with somebody else. Just so when that ball is snapped, it's all internalized in him. He's just going out there and playing football."