EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Davis Webb, the Giants rookie quarterback, is finally getting a promotion.
Webb, the Giants' third-round pick out of Cal, is being prepped to be the No. 2 quarterback this week, which means he'll be activated for his first NFL game on Sunday when the Giants play host to the Washington Redskins, interim coach Steve Spagnuolo said. After spending all season as the third-string quarterback, Davis leap-frogged Geno Smith and practiced with the second-string on Wednesday.
Eli Manning is still slated to be the Giants' starter on Sunday. But the possibility now exists that Webb will get into the game.
"Eli Manning is the starting quarterback and we're going into the game to beat the Washington Redskins with Eli Manning," Spagnuolo said. "And we'll go from there."
That certainly adds a level of intrigue to the otherwise-meaningless season finale for the Giants (2-13), given the controversy surrounding their quarterback plans -- or lack thereof -- over the last month. It started when the Giants made their ill-fated decision to bench Manning in favor of Smith back on Nov. 28. One day later, Giants co-owner John Mara made it clear that he expected to see Webb at some point this season -- and in "meaningful minutes" too.
Their plans apparently changed one week later when GM Jerry Reese and head coach Ben McAdoo were fired and Spagnuolo and GM Kevin Abrams were installed on an interim basis. Spagnuolo was given the power to choose his quarterback and he decided to go with Manning, even though Mara did say that he was "hopeful that at some point (Webb) gets into the game."
Webb had remained the No. 3 quarterback, but last week a lot of noise was created when he received 12 snaps with the first-team offense over a two-day span in drills against the first-team defense. In those practice periods, Manning usually took all eight snaps per day. For two days, he got two while Webb was given six.
That did not appear to be a sign of anything, though, since Webb remained the third-stringer during the Giants' 23-0 loss in Arizona on Sunday. But now things have changed again.
Meanwhile, it's hard to know exactly what the Giants will get out of any playing time for Webb at this point. The team is a mess, and he'll be playing with the same porous offensive line and drop-happy receivers that Manning has been plagued with all season. It's hardly a recipe for success.
But as Mara said back in November, any look is "better than nothing" and "better than just watching them run scout team out there every day."
The Giants, of course, are currently slated to pick second in the 2018 NFL Draft, which is believed to be rich with franchise-caliber quarterbacks. They will likely be in position to draft potential franchise changers like USC's Sam Darnold, UCLA's Josh Rosen, or Wyoming's Josh Allen. They drafted Webb as a potential franchise quarterback last year, but at that point they obviously never imagined they'd be in position to draft a quarterback near the top of the first round any time soon.