Recent reports indicate that New York Giants starting quarterback Eli Manning will not participate in any spring practices. Manning underwent ankle surgery in April and should make a full recovery by the time training camp rolls around.
With Manning out, New York’s other quarterbacks on the depth chart will get more reps and recent signings indicate that the Giants are looking for a full-blown backup quarterback competition.
Curtis Painter was New York’s second-stringer a season ago, beating out David Carr in the preseason. Painter played in three games last season, doing very little in the limited time he was given. He completed 8-0f-16 passes for 57 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions.
The Giants also have Ryan Nassib, who is heading into his second season in 2014. New York drafted Nassib out of Syracuse in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Nassib didn’t get any time during the regular season but looked more than a bit shaky in training camp and the preseason, as he threw interception after interception.
New York has also thrown two free agents into the mix this offseason by signing Josh Freeman and Rusty Smith. Yes, this is the same Josh Freeman who played about as bad as a quarterback can play in his only start with Minnesota last season (which happened to come against the Giants). Freeman finished the game with a QBR of 18.9 and a passer rating of 40.6. Yep.
Rusty Smith has seen NFL action in just two years, 2010 and 2012, both of which were very limited with the Titans. Smith is 27 years old and was drafted by Tennessee in the sixth round of the 2010 draft out of Florida Atlantic.
It looks like the Giants want to give themselves a few options when it comes to Manning’s backup. Spring workouts will be the first chance for these quarterbacks to make their mark on the team, and each of them should get plenty of opportunities with Manning temporarily sidelined.