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Did Giants ownership force an Eli Manning farewell tour on Pat Shurmur?

Entering the 2019 regular season, a popular but unsubstantiated conspiracy theory was that Giants co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch forced veteran quarterback Eli Manning on both general manager Dave Gettleman and head coach Pat Shurmur.

If that were true, Shurmur was quick to pull the plug — much faster than the owners would have liked had they mandated Manning starting — and went to rookie Daniel Jones in Week 3.

Now entering the final stretch of the season and a “Monday Night Football” game against the Philadelphia Eagles, people are once again donning their tinfoil hats and suggesting ownership is again cramming Manning down the throat of Gettleman and Shurmur.

The injury Odell Beckham Jr. suffered late last season was initially called a quad injury, later a hematoma and then a hamstring issue. There’s never been any actual clarity on what injury OBJ actually suffered, and the player and team could not agree on the severity of it.

Ultimately, Beckham was unable to play through whatever the injury was and missed the final stretch of the season.

Earlier this year, running back Saquon Barkley suffered a high ankle sprain and missed several games, returning well ahead of schedule and taking quite some time before he even looked remotely close to the same player.

Meanwhile, the ankle sprain Jones suffered at Duke in 2018 came during the Independence Bowl, and just as he did a week ago against the Green Bay Packers, he played through it. He didn’t have to test it the following week, so there’s no certainty he could have or would have played.

Jones also missed several weeks due to a broken clavicle, so the notion that he “played through it” is an argument that is just hemorrhaging water. And his broken wrist? Yeah, Jones played through a summer basketball camp with it before even realizing it was broken, so it’s not like he was taking shots from 300-pound defensive linemen or anything. Or, you know, trying to throw a football with it.

There’s also the other elephant in the room. Forget the obvious nature of the injury and all the limping (and struggling) Jones did after suffering the ankle sprain in Week 13. He’s currently refined to a walking boot after testing revealed an injury that almost consistently keeps players out for 3-6 weeks if not longer.

Not to mention, if Shurmur is coaching for his job and hitched his wagon to Jones, why would he even humor ownership and put Manning back in at this point? Unless he got a guarantee that doing so would save his job, it would make absolutely no sense whatsoever for Shurmur to flip flop with only a month of a lost season remaining.

Allow me to throw out my own conspiracy theory: Daniel Jones has a high ankle sprain, can’t play and as his backup, Eli Manning, will now step in and start just as QB2 is designed to do for all 32 NFL teams.

I know, I know… it sounds crazy, but maybe — just maybe — that’s all this is.

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