EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The Giants finally took the first small steps towards getting rookie Davis Webb ready to play in a game this season.
Of course, it may already be a little too late.
Webb, a third-round pick out of Cal, got his first practice snaps with the Giants' first-team offense on Wednesday since way back in training camp in August. He took six of the eight snaps when the Giants ran their first-team offense against the first-team defense in practice.
It's a start. But it's a really, really small start, especially with only five practices and two games left in the Giants' miserable year. And interim coach Steve Spagnuolo said Webb will likely be the inactive, third-string quarterback when the Giants play in Arizona on Sunday. And there are no indications the Giants plan to play Webb at all the rest of the year.
"As of right now, no," Spagnuolo said. "But who knows?"
That "Who knows?" part is the same dance the Giants have been doing about Webb for weeks, ever since they made the ill-fated decision to bench Eli Manning and start Geno Smith. As they did, they indicated a desire to play Webb at some point too. And even after firing GM Jerry Reese and coach Ben McAdoo, co-owner John Mara indicated he'd still like to see Webb play.
Spagnuolo, though, wants to try to win the last two games and believes the 36-year-old Manning gives him the best shot.
"I keep going back to it and I'm just being honest with you -- I'm focused on winning the football game," Spagnuolo said. "And to me, winning the football game is with Eli Manning. And should it be anything else, that's - I don't know - probably something bad happened. I prefer to have Eli Manning in there winning."
It's debatable whether getting the 22-year-old Webb into a game at this point would do much good anyway. The Giants won't be able to get a long-enough look at him to make a true evaluation of his abilities before they get to the 2018 draft. Plus, the Giants' offense is badly undermanned, with issues at receiver and along the offensive line. It's not exactly set up for a young quarterback to enjoy instant success.
In practice, though, maybe more can be accomplished. And Webb seemed to get good reviews for his cameo practice performance - including from himself.
"I think I did good," Webb said. "It was my first time getting reps in a little bit and in a team setting and I think I did a pretty good job. There's things I need to work on obviously, but I think I did a pretty solid job."
"I thought he made some good calls and got us in some better plays," Manning said. "(He) ran the offense well."
Will he get a chance to do it again? Probably. But in a game? That's hard to say. It is probably in the Giants' best interests to look at Webb a little, but the Giants do still have other goals in mind.
"I want to do what's in the best interest of the organization, but I do know the organization wants to win football games," Spagnuolo said. "That has never changed. That's why when I say to you that my mind is on that, it truly is on that. And we'll do whatever we can to win the football game."
And that seems fine with Webb, too.
"I stay in the moment," Webb said. "Today was today. It's over and now. I'm excited to go in and watch the film a little bit, get better as an offense. All we're worried about this week is beating Arizona. We come here every day expecting to win, and expecting to beat Arizona. That's our goal as a team."