EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- There will be something different looking about Eli Manning when he's on the field Sunday night and this season. He will be wearing a white glove on his non-throwing left hand, something he hasn't done for most of his first 13 professional seasons.
Manning and most of the New York Giants quarterbacks tried the glove out this summer in hopes of having a better grip on the football and reducing fumbles and turnovers. They've been happy with the results (one lost fumble since they released Josh Johnson) and plan to bring it into the season.
"Going to stick with it," Manning told ESPN on Thursday. "Give it a shot."
It's something that was suggested after the team struggled with turnovers last season. They were a minus-2 in turnover differential, and their 27 turnovers were the most by a playoff team.
It's no wonder coach Ben McAdoo begins every practice with a period called "The Duke" designed to emphasize ball protection for the offense and creating turnovers for the defense and special teams. This spring the Giants decided to add the glove.
"Hey, if it helps you save one fumble it's worth it," Manning said. "This season hopefully get a little better grip. When you're moving in the pocket sometimes you have your hand ripped off and just having a little extra grip to hold onto it will be worth it."
Manning, 36, had seven fumbles -- four lost -- last season. It wasn't an exorbitant number. His career high is 13 fumbles (in 2007 and '09). He doesn't see any reason not to give the glove a shot, and doesn't believe it will have any impact on his ability to catch shotgun snaps or get the ball downfield with accuracy or touch.
"It's on my left hand," he said, "so it will not affect my throwing. No, no."
Backup Geno Smith will also likely be wearing the glove if he enters a game this season. The only quarterback who didn't use the glove this summer was rookie Davis Webb. He had tried it in the past and didn't like the feeling.
It's not something the Giants' coaching staff seems adamant about or mandates. The results are yet to be determined.
"I don't know if I see a significant difference in it," Smith said. "It's one of those things you try it out just to see. Maybe in a wet-weather game it may help a little bit more. Otherwise I don't see a huge difference."
The only time Smith might not wear the glove this season is in extreme heat. The Giants do play several games on the West Coast (Arizona, San Francisco, Oakland) and in Tampa Bay. It could also get hot Sunday night against the Cowboys in Texas.
In these situations the glove could have an adverse effect.
"It would get so sticky," Smith said. "You don't want to hand the ball off and maybe it sticks to your glove. There it could create issues. If it's hot, then no [with the glove]. But if it's cold, then yes. I guess it's just a weather thing."
For Manning and Co. it appears to be a 2017 thing and, if successful, potentially beyond.