QB Daniel Jones believes he's still in New York Giants' plans

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Daniel Jones' season may be over, but it doesn't appear he believes his time as the New York Giants' quarterback has come to an end.

Jones, who was shut down for the remainder of the season earlier this week because of a neck injury, sounds like he expects to return next year as the potential starter. He would be entering the fourth year of his rookie contact, and the Giants have a decision to make this offseason on whether to exercise a fifth-year option.

"I've spoken to [coach] Joe [Judge] and we've had conversations about [being the starter next year]," Jones said. "Like I said, there are things I need to improve on. There are things he expects me to improve on moving forward. I understand that and obviously take that very seriously. That is kind of my approach."

Jones, 24, finished this season having completed 64.3% of his passes for 2,428 yards with 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He cut down dramatically on the turnovers, with 10 in 11 starts. Jones had 16 in 14 starts last year and 23 in 12 starts as a rookie.

The No. 6 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft out of Duke started the season well before tailing off as the season progressed. He didn't have much help. The Giants have been decimated by injuries and their offensive line has again been problematic.

Judge has remained, at least publicly, somewhat bullish on his quarterback.

"Yeah, I've seen enough growth from Daniel to tell us he's a guy we want to go ahead and play with," Judge said. "In terms of the business aspect of it and different things, I'll let different departments in this organization handle that stuff. I'll coach the players.

"When it comes down to Daniel, our concern right now is getting him back and healthy and getting him prepared for next year."

The injury portion of the equation becomes more prevalent than ever. And not because there seems to be concern about the neck being a long-term problem. Jones reiterated the team's belief that it is not something that will threaten his career.

"No. I don't," Jones said. "From all conversations with doctors and our medical staff here, going forward, it's something that is going to heal.

"It's kind of a timing thing and unfortunately ran out of time this season. It's disappointing and frustrating, but it's part of this game and it's something I have to deal with. But I don't have any concerns long term."

Jones admitted it might have been different had it happened earlier in the season or had the Giants (4-10) not been in their current predicament with the playoffs out of the picture. He said that originally he thought it was something he would get over fairly quickly and expected to come back to play this season.

Jones said once again that it was a neck sprain without going into much more detail. He did admit there was some swelling in the area and symptoms when in certain positions.

He thought it was smart to eventually report the injury (the morning after a Week 13 win over the Philadelphia Eagles) and didn't fight the decision to end his season.

"Anytime you're dealing with your neck, you want to be smart and cautious," Jones said.

It still didn't make it any less disappointing to have his third season as the starter end prematurely, and with so few wins on his résumé.

That is something the Giants have to take into consideration moving forward. Is Jones good enough to win games with as their starter, and can they trust him to stay healthy given he has suffered injuries that forced him to miss time in each of his first three seasons?

"We didn't win enough games. I think that is the most important thing as I evaluate myself going forward," Jones said. "I do feel I improved as a player. I think I've made progress and played well at times. And not well enough, too."