EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - As bad as this week has been for the Giants, there's the potential of something even more awkward, more undignified happening on Sunday in Oakland. Just imagine if Geno Smith gets hurt against the Raiders -- or worse, he's a disaster early in the game.
Wouldn't it be just a little awkward if Ben McAdoo has to tap Eli Manning on the shoulder and ask his now-backup, former franchise quarterback to go into the game?
"Eli's a pro," McAdoo said. "He'll be ready to go if his number is called."
Of course he will. Manning, no matter what was done to him this week, would never do anything to embarrass the Giants. He's always had too much respect for them and class in general to do that. But the point remains that it would still seem awkward for everyone, especially if an in-game switch isn't injury related and Manning is needed to clean up Smith's mess.
"I haven't done it before, so it would be different," McAdoo said. "It wouldn't be awkward. It's part of the game."
Even McAdoo must know somewhere deep down inside that this is a slightly unusual scenario for both the franchise and for Manning. Surely he's at least pondered the possibility that Smith won't play well, and he has a plan in place that wouldn't be a complete embarrassment for everyone involved. Right?
"I'm confident in Geno. I'm not going into the game thinking that way," McAdoo said. "No one is. He's had a good week of preparation, a good week of practice. He's played football in this league. I'm excited to see him go out and play in a Giants uniform."
OK, so the plan is that Smith -- making his first start since last Oct. 23 when he ended up tearing his ACL early in that game with the Jets, and having thrown only 58 passes in NFL games since 2014 - will play well. Period. No need to worry about anything else here.
Let's assume there's at least a small chance that plan goes awry, though. It seems crazy that the Giants, after embarrassing a franchise icon this week, would now put Manning in position of entering a game for mop-up duty. If this is all about looking at their possible quarterbacks of the future, they should've gotten rookie Davis Webb ready to backup Smith.
But according to McAdoo, there has been no change in Webb's practice routine this week -- meaning he's gotten the same number of snaps he has been getting all season as the third-string quarterback. It's not even a guarantee Webb will be active on Sunday.
Asked if he planned on having two or all three quarterbacks active and available, McAdoo said "That's a question I'm not willing to answer at this point."
Even an active Webb presumably wouldn't really be ready to play, though. It's a mystery why, if the Giants have been thinking about the possibility of playing him down the stretch for several weeks, they haven't already begun to increase his reps in practice. And it's akin to malpractice that they still haven't done it after announcing that at some point soon Webb will play.
Why haven't they? McAdoo wouldn't answer. "Yeah, we're going to address that soon," he said. "We have a plan in place for that."
As for the plan for this Sunday, they have made it through blue-colored glasses, assuming Smith will be fantastic, and the players on the 2-9 Giants will feel a spark as they rally around a quarterback not named Manning for the first time since 2004.
"Yeah, I think the players will be at their best," McAdoo said. "It's their job. They're pros. When you look at it from a player's perspective and empathizing with the players, they go through this each and every day. Most of the guys in the locker room are in jeopardy of losing their job at some point in time. Job security in this league is tough. I think they're aware of that. I think they understand that. I think they also feel blessed to be in a locker room with Eli.
"That being said, I think they'll go out, they'll play hard, they'll play hard for each other, they'll rally around Geno and put their best foot forward."