Eli Manning returns to the fray a week after the New York Giants broke their initial 210-game winning streak.
Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network reported on Tuesday that Manning would start Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. The decision was made after the coaches and the Giants' staff had the final discussions of game planning, by informed sources of the decision.
The return to Manning comes a day after the dismissal of coach Ben McAdoo on Monday.
Reverting to the veteran field marshal a week after ending his iron man streak is the latest admission of the Giants organization that has spoiled the situation.
Last week, the Giants announced that Manning would be sent to the bench in favor of Geno Smith and rookie Davis Webb as the organization tried to evaluate their younger quarterbacks during a season of craters.
Co-owner John Mara confirmed Monday that McAdoo conjured up the idea to run Smith and Webb, but only after Manning started in half. Mara approved the decision and blamed herself for not doing more to nullify the play, or at least insist on more astuteness of McAdoo.
Manning legitimately rejected the idea of taking symbolic starts simply to prolong his streak.
Smith started Sunday's loss to the Oakland Raiders, completing 21 of 34 passes for 212 yards and a touchdown. He lost two fumbles and was caught three times. Smith's performance behind a porous offensive line, with no running game, and few tangible reception targets, was not very different from what we saw of Manning this season. Webb was inactive.
After reinstalling Manning as the starter, the plan to test the youngest quarterbacks is put back in the glove compartment, at least for the time being. The Giants could try to find playing time for Smith or Webb in the future if Manning has difficulties or the games become explosive.
Starting Manning a week after adjusting his streak underscores the careless nature in which the organization handled its two-time Super Bowl Most Valuable Player. It is also a significant mea culpa of the franchise.
The move will not change the bad decision of last week, but maybe returning Manning to his position as holder, and allowing him to go out on his own terms, could repair part of the damage caused to the relationship between the Giants. and his aging franchise field marshal.
At least, we know that the loudest applause on Sunday by the MetLife crowd will be when Manning goes out on the field for the first time to restart his streak in a game.