The next time the New York Giants take the field, quarterback Geno Smith will be starting and Eli Manning will be watching from the bench.
It was announced on Tuesday that Smith would get the nod against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. More surprising, though, was that Manning himself appears to have spurred the move.
“Coach McAdoo told me I could continue to start while Geno and Davis are given an opportunity to play,” Manning said, per Mike Garafolo of NFL Network “My feeling is that if you are going to play the other guys, play them. 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.”
The streak he’s referring to is the streak of consecutive starts. He’s tied with Jim Otto at 210.
“Eli’s extremely impressive consecutive starts streak comes to an end via a QB change and not injury,” wrote NFL Network’s James Palmer. “Manning has started 210 consecutive regular-season games, the second-longest streak by a quarterback in NFL history, behind Brett Favre’s 297.”
It’s also worth noting that he’s two games past his brother, former Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, who had 208.
So, what’s next? That’s unclear. There’s at least a chance that Manning just benched himself after his final game with the Giants.
“Next question is whether Manning’s days as a Giant are over,” Garafolo wrote. “The full answer is … wait until we know which coach and GM will make that call.”