New York Giants optimistic QB Daniel Jones returns vs. Arizona Cardinals

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants are "optimistic" about quarterback Daniel Jones being ready to play this week against the Arizona Cardinals. Jones missed Sunday's win over the Seattle Seahawks with a hamstring injury.

A source close to the Giants told ESPN earlier this week that the team expected him to start Sunday vs. Arizona, barring a setback.

Jones was on the field stretching with teammates during the open portion of practice Wednesday. He was expected to participate, giving the Giants their first look at the physical state of their quarterback since late last week.

"We'll see him move around [Wednesday]," coach Joe Judge said. "We're optimistic. I know he's going to tell us everything we want to hear. Again, we have to use our eyes instead of our ears with Daniel. So we're going to put him out there and give him a chance to progress."

The first-place Giants (5-7) had a light practice/walk-through Wednesday. The next two days will be more telling about where Jones stands, and Judge hopes to decide by Friday whether Jones will play.

Jones said he's "feeling better."

He's once again preparing as if he is going to play, similar to his approach last week. But he wouldn't say it with any certainty.

"We have a little bit of time here at the end of the week," Jones said. "My job is to do everything I can to get it ready to play. Listen to what the trainers are telling me. Follow the program that's been laid out. Just try to take every day and work to get it better and see where we are."

Jones came close to making it back last week. Judge said ultimately it was his decision -- made in the best of interest of his quarterback -- to hold him out. Judge said the Giants will again have to use their eyes more than their ears this week because of Jones' toughness and desire to play through injury.

The Giants have two tough games against the Cleveland Browns (9-3) and Baltimore Ravens (7-5) after the Cardinals.

"Yeah, I always want to play," Jones said. "I'll continue to communicate that. My goal is to play every week. I think it was a decision we made together with the trainers, the medical staff, the coaches and myself that I wouldn't play last week.

"Like I said, the goal every day is to improve, to get healthy and hopefully get back out there soon."

Colt McCoy would get his second straight start should something happen with Jones.

McCoy was 13-of-22 passing for 105 yards with a touchdown and an interception Sunday in Seattle. He made some big throws late to keep the clock moving but failed to threaten the deep part of the field often.

Jones has started 11 games this season for the Giants and completed 63.2% of his passes for 2,335 yards with eight touchdown tosses and nine interceptions. He also is second on the team with 403 rushing yards and a touchdown.

He brings another dimension to the offense that could be needed against a Cardinals team that ranks sixth in the NFL in total offense. Jones is first among qualifying quarterbacks, having completed 57.7% of his deep throws. Four have resulted in touchdowns.