Giants quarterback Eli Manning will have his workload reduced in training camp, General Manager Jerry Reese said Thursday.
“Eli has to take care of himself and get himself ready to play mentally and physically,” Reese said, via Michael Eisen of the team website. “When guys get up in age, you have to take care of them. There are a few guys on the squad that coach [Ben] McAdoo and our staff, we’ve talked about, ‘Okay, let’s make sure these guys get to the game, get to the season.’ You’ve got to protect them in some ways. Each one of those guys you want to protect, along with a few more guys, older guys, you want to protect.”
Manning, 36, enters his 14th season having started 211 consecutive games, including the posteseason. He has thrown 7,225 career passes in regular-season and postseason games. So putting him on a training camp “pitch count” makes sense.
“You can call it a pitch count,” Reese said. “You can frame it like that; you can frame it however you like. That’s a good way to frame it if you like.”
The Giants can expect push back from Manning, who prefers to make most of the snaps in practice. But he threw 598 passes in the 2016 regular season, the third-highest total of his career, and another 44 in the playoffs.
Reese pointed to Tony Romo’s practice schedule in 2014 when the Cowboys quarterback was returning from back surgery. Romo didn’t practice on Wednesdays during the regular season and had the best season of his career, leading the league in completion percentage, yards per attempt and passer rating.
“I think it is just commonsense,” Reese said. “You see it all around the National Football League. I think Romo, one year there was one day where he never practiced. I think it was on a Wednesday or something like that. You see it all over the league with older players; coaches give them some time off or some reps off. We have some older players at different positions that we want to have fresh going into the games and the latter part of this season and again hopefully the playoffs.”