GLENDALE, Ariz. — The New York Giants appear to be sticking with quarterback Eli Manning even in the final week of the season against the Washington Redskins.
“Eli will start, and then we’ll probably take it bit by bit,” interim coach Steve Spagnuolo said after Sunday’s 23-0 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. “We just take it and see how it goes. Eli is the starter.”
Manning started Sunday, and the Giants lost tight end Evan Engram (rib) and wide receiver Sterling Shepard (neck) by the end of the game. He threw a pair of interceptions and lost a fumble that was returned for a score. He also played from start to finish despite the lopsided result.
Rookie Davis Webb wasn’t even an option. He was inactive for the contest, the 15th time in as many games the third-round pick failed to dress. There’s a chance Webb will be active next Sunday after he took some first-team snaps at practice last week.
But since Spagnuolo was named interim coach in place of the fired Ben McAdoo earlier this month, he has insisted that the Giants are prioritizing winning and that Manning gives them the best chance to win.
The Giants still scored 10 points or fewer for the sixth time this season Sunday and lost their fourth straight game.
Spagnuolo didn’t contemplate taking Manning out for backup Geno Smith at any point.
“No. I really didn’t,” Spagnuolo said.
Smith started a game earlier this month in Oakland to end Manning’s streak of 210 consecutive starts. McAdoo was fired less than 24 hours after the game, and the Giants reversed course with their plan, which was to eventually get to Webb.
Co-owner John Mara said he wanted to see the young quarterback play, and by play he didn’t mean come in late to close out a game.
Manning went 27-of-45 passing for 263 yards against the Cardinals.
“Hey, we didn’t score any points, so I didn’t play well enough,” he said.
Neither did his supporting cast. The Giants fell to 2-13 this season and are in position to potentially land the No. 2 overall pick in next year’s draft.
That could put them in position to draft Manning’s potential successor, namely UCLA’s Josh Rosen or USC’s Sam Darnold. But Manning wasn’t ready to discuss his future after the latest loss Sunday.
“I’ll figure out next week and go from there,” he said.
Manning turns 37 next week.