The clock has been ticking for Eli Manning as the starting quarterback for the past two seasons, but his position became a real hot seat when the New York Giants drafted his heir apparent at #6 overall: Duke QB Daniel Jones.

While the pick was initially met with mixed reaction, (could the Giants have drafted him with one of their later first round picks? Won’t Dwayne Haskins be better?) Jones has entrenched himself as the surefire backup, and will likely challenge for the starting spot this season.

Owner John Mara shut down that excitement early, by blatantly stating he hopes to see only Manning under center during the regular season, and not Daniel Jones. His remarks aren’t outlandish if you consider the context though. The Giants will likely roll with Manning until their season is lost and they’re clearly out of the playoff picture. So in Mara’s eyes, as long as the Giants stay afloat with a winning record, there should be no reason for Jones to see the field.

Personally I don’t see the Giants finishing above .500 this season, but they just might hang in the race until December. This would be a lose-lose scenario, as the Giants would come up empty-handed and also neglect to give Jones time to develop in the regular season.

For now, Jones will have to make the most of his preseason snaps. He did that in Preseason Week 1 against the New York Jets, finishing the game a perfect 5-5 passing with a touchdown pass. He made every snap count and didn’t disappoint in the slightest. His night was cut short by a lightning delay that would stop him from seeing the field again.

In Preseason Week 2, the Giants welcome Mitch Trubisky and the NFC North defending champion Chicago Bears. Jones should see significantly more time in this game, as Alex Tanney and Kyle Laluetta really have no business taking up too much of his valuable playing time. I’d expect Jones to complete at least three or four drives, or perhaps remain the quarterback for an entire quarter.

He doesn’t have to have another perfect night, but it will be interesting to see if he can stay hot or if his flashy night against the Jets had some luck involved.

The Bears lost their first preseason matchup 23-13 to the Carolina Panthers.

The Giants and Bears kick off at 7:30 PM ET on Friday, August 16.

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Header photo via Sports Illustrated

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