Giants QB Daniel Jones expects to be cleared by training camp

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is progressing in his rehab from a torn ACL in his right knee and expects to be cleared for training camp. He even believes there is a realistic chance that he is able to do some drills with his teammates later this spring.

It's all possible because, so far, the rehab has gone relatively smoothly.

"I haven't had any setbacks, fortunately, to this point," Jones said from the team facility Monday during the first day of the Giants' offseason workout program. "It's a process, and there have certainly been better days and then days where you don't make as much progress, but overall it has been a good process with these guys. Lucky to have this training staff that we have here with the Giants and the strength staff and feel lucky to be working with them.

"It has been a good process. I've come along well, and luckily, no setbacks."

Jones tore the ACL in a Week 9 loss to Las Vegas when he went to drop back for a pass. It ended a nightmare season that also included a neck injury that cost him three games. He appeared in a total of six games last season. Jones, 26, underwent surgery in late November. His recovery was expected to take at least eight months. That takes him until the end of July, which coincides with the start of training camp.

It's a good sign that Jones has his eyes on getting involved in some drills this spring.

"Yeah, I want to do as much as they'll let me do," he said. "That is the goal, and you obviously want to be smart and not do anything you can't do, but that is my goal -- to be involved and participate in some of those drills in the spring. Obviously it will correlate with my rehab and the progress I'm making as the trainers and strength staff sees it. But that is the goal."

General manager Joe Schoen mentioned at the NFL scouting combine that getting in drills in the spring was a possibility. Coach Brian Daboll has been much more cautious.

Daboll didn't want to commit to any specific dates or timeline.

"It's Day 1 of Phase 1. He's making progress," Daboll said. "I don't want to say [he's] further ahead or behind. He's doing everything we need him to do, hitting it head-on. He's making strides."

The Giants are at the very least looking at quarterbacks in the draft. They select sixth overall and are believed to be open to taking a quarterback, in part because of Jones' extensive recent injury history.

Jones said Monday that he's just worried about doing what he can to get healthy and perform well on the field. He's not harping on his future, taking a similar approach that running back Saquon Barkley did last year.

Jones said he believes he is the Giants' best option to start the season at quarterback, even if they select a quarterback high in the draft.

"I do, yes," he said.

Jones said he has been throwing for quite some time, which even dates to the end of the season when he was doing some stationary soft toss post-surgery. He's recently progressed with his movements, dropbacks and quarterback-specific drills.

There are still three-plus months until the start of training camp. Five months until the start of the regular season, when Jones fully expects to be ready.

"The plan is to be ready to go by training camp," he said. "That's what I'm shooting for and feel good about being ready."

His focus has been exclusively on the knee. Not the neck, which he injured in an early-season loss to the Miami Dolphins.

That was the second neck injury in three seasons for Jones.

"That is not a factor. My neck is 100% healthy," he said. "That was a stinger-type injury that is pretty common in football. It has calmed down and I feel good."