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Giants can’t afford to rush Daniel Jones back too soon

The Giants will of course do what’s right for Daniel Jones, they won’t think about putting him — or anyone else — in harm’s way.

Fingers will be crossed he can be cleared by the concussion protocol, that backup quarterback Mike Glennon doesn’t have to be thrown to the wolves, or the Rams.

The Daniel Dilemma.

But because Jones is the future until proven otherwise, because he remains until proven otherwise as the crown jewel anointed as king to Eli Manning’s old throne, the Giants should have no reservations about erring on the side of caution with him here if they have reason for even the tiniest of concerns or doubts about the condition of his brain. Whether they are 1-4, which they are, or not.

One of the few inklings of hope in what is looming as another hopeless season is the progress that Jones has displayed as he begins to make the move that the franchise has been expecting him to make in his third season and second season under Joe Judge and offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.

Devontae Booker will be the running back against the Rams on Sunday instead of Saquon Barkley (ankle), Kenny Golladay (knee) will be sidelined and Kadarius Toney (ankle) is iffy.

Black and blue Big Blue versus a 4-1 Rams outfit favored by 10.5 points that will have had 10 days of rest come Sunday.

The Giants can't rush Daniel Jones back too soon, The Post's Steve Serby writes.
The Giants can’t rush Daniel Jones back too soon, The Post’s Steve Serby writes.
AP

Which also means a rested Aaron Donald.

Again, if the Giants are thoroughly convinced that Jones is good to go, the fact that no one ever confused their revolving-door offensive line with The Seven Blocks of Granite should not give them pause.

They just better be right.

To wit:

Donald — 24 tackles with three sacks this season, 60.5 sacks since 2017 88.5 career sacks — is every quarterback’s worst nightmare, every running back’s worst nightmare, every offensive lineman’s worst nightmare, every opposing coach’s worst nightmare.

Giants center Billy Price played against Donald in London in 2019 with the Bengals. Donald had one sack in the Rams’ 24-10 win.

“He is as advertised plus more,” Price told The Post. “When you have a dynamic player like him who can really impact an offense’s game plan, it makes things very difficult.

“I know that in Cincinnati that week we slid protection to him. Obviously you see week-in and week-out slide protections to Aaron, making sure Aaron is accounted for, double-team, triple-team. … At all moments and all times he’s accounted for, to make sure that he doesn’t go and completely wreck the game.”

Donald, you might remember, was the 14th pick of the 2013 NFL Draft. The 13th pick, by former Giants GM Jerry Reese, was Odell Beckham Jr. Donald, with shorter arms than some NFL teams desire in their defensive linemen, didn’t fit the Giants prototype.

“I think the biggest thing you see him take of advantage of players in how fast he moves,” Price said. “His hand speed, his initial burst and quickness is what it is. He’s very violent with his hands, very explosive, very strong. He might not be the 6-5, 6-6, 330-pound defensive tackle or nose tackle, but he is an absolute force. And his motor, I think that’s also something. Players, we get into a rhythm, you got a play clock in your head, three, four seconds go by, and this guy’s still going 100 percent no matter where he is on the field going towards the play.”

Price was asked if he had encountered anyone with that kind of motor.

“Nobody pops off immediately off the top of my head, but I will say that that defensive live over there in LA, No. 69 [Sebastian Joseph-Day] is a very, very strong complement to Aaron. I played him at Rutgers during my time at Ohio State — always a touch matchup. The kid’s got a high motor, kid’s very explosive, strong with his hands. … He fits that system, fits it very well, and somebody you also gotta be accounted for. Having a defensive front where you’ve got two, three guys, four different guys, guys you gotta be worried about, you’re gonna end up getting those one-on-one matchups against Aaron Donald or against No. 69 or Leonard Floyd out there, 54.”

Price will study Donald tendencies all week.

“Do I do anything different? No,” Price said. “Technique-wise, you gotta tighten things up just a little bit because of how explosive and how elusive he is. You trust your technique, you trust the game plan, and you go out there and you give everything you can. The offensive game plan may be accounting for Aaron, but you can’t change the entire game for Aaron.”

The mantra of the offensive lineman: Block like hell no matter who his quarterback is.

“It doesn’t really matter who’s back there at quarterback, you’ve gotta protect your guys,” Price said, “whether or not you’re playing Aaron Donald, whether or not you’re playing Ndamukong Suh, whether you’re playing Javon Hargrove and Fletcher Cox over there, the whole Washington defensive front.”

Price, acquired by the Giants in an Aug. 30 trade for defensive end B.J. Hill, might be protecting Glennon on Sunday.

“That man can sling it, I could tell you that,” Price said. “A true pro. Backup role, but when his number’s called, he always goes in there and executes and runs the offense. In a situation where you’ve got a backup, everybody’s gotta trust one another.”

Asked about Jones, Price cracked: “He’s not afraid of contact. … He ran through [Atlanta’s Grady Jarrett] on the goal line for the two-point conversion.”

But sometimes, discretion is the better part of valor, so you can live to fight another day. Especially for the franchise quarterback.

“But he’s a great leader,” Price said. “He owns this offense of what everybody’s doing. During my time here, getting me caught up to speed in understanding offensive schematics plus what he’s looking at. Very happy to be blocking for somebody like that.”

To play or not to play him. To be or not to be perfectly healthy. For the Giants, that is the question on Billy Price’s quarterback.

About the author

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Kathy Lewis

Kathy Lewis is an all-around geek who loves learning new stuff every day. With a background in computer science and a passion for writing, she loves writing for almost all the sections of Editorials99.

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