- Pat Leonard/Twitter
- The New York Giants on Tuesday announced that they have benched Eli Manning, and Geno Smith will start in Week 13.
- The move will break Manning’s streak of 210 consecutive starts, the longest active streak in the NFL.
- Manning appeared emotional while discussing whether he’s played his last game for the Giants.
The New York Giants on Tuesday announced that Eli Manning will be benched for Week 13 in favor of backup quarterback Geno Smith.
The announcement came as a shock to the NFL world, particularly because Manning had the longest active streak of games started by a quarterback, the second-longest ever and behind only Brett Favre.
While speaking to the media, Manning looked visibly upset, and maybe even on the verge of tears when discussing his future with the Giants.
“It’s hard,” Manning said. “It’s been a hard day to handle this, but, you know, hang in there and figure this out.”
Of potentially playing his last game with the Giants, Manning said: “I don’t know. I’ll take it one week at a time.”
— Pat Leonard (@PLeonardNYDN) November 28, 2017
In the Giants’ press release announcing the change, Manning said that head coach Ben McAdoo offered him the chance to continue starting to keep his streak alive, but he turned it down, saying he didn’t want to start without the chance to finish the game.
“My feeling is that if you are going to play the other guys, play them,” Manning said. “Starting just to keep the streak going and knowing you won’t finish the game and have a chance to win it is pointless to me, and it tarnishes the streak. Like I always have, I will be ready to play if and when I am needed. I will help Geno and Davis prepare to play as well as they possibly can”
At 2-9, the Giants are well out of the playoff race, slogging through one of the more tumultuous seasons in franchise history. They began the season 0-4, and lost their top three receivers at once in their fifth game of the season. The offensive line has struggled to protect Manning, who has a limited supporting cast on offense and has struggled as a result.
It was reported that McAdoo had lost the team weeks ago, and what appears to be an unpopular decision in benching Manning can’t help.