EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) – Rhett Bomar is the New York Giants’ backup quarterback, at least for now.
Bomar took over the No. 2 spot behind Eli Manning on Tuesday when the Giants placed veteran Jim Sorgi on injured reserve with a torn muscle in his right shoulder.
With the regular season less than two weeks away, it is uncertain whether Bomar will keep the job. The second-year pro has improved dramatically in training camp, but he has never played in a regular-season game. That must concern a franchise looking to return to the playoffs after missing out last year.
Bomar will get a chance to show he deserves the job on Thursday when the Giants (1-2) finish the preseason with a game against the New England Patriots (2-1) at the New Meadowlands Stadium.
“I’ve always been confident in myself,” Bomar said. “I feel comfortable in the offense. I just need to cut down on some mistakes and things like that. Like I said, I can’t control everything. I can only control how I play, and that’s it. Hopefully they’re comfortable enough with me.”
If Bomar doesn’t play well, Giants coach Tom Coughlin and general manager Jerry Reese might scour the waiver wire this weekend when teams cut their rosters to the 53-man limit. Usually, a couple of veterans quarterbacks are available.
The problem with bringing in a new quarterback, however, is that he has to learn the system.
Bomar has made strides since training camp opened and got a chance to play with the first team for a week after Manning and Sorgi were hurt in the preseason opener against the Jets.
Bomar played the entire second preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and he’ll probably play at least at a half against the Patriots.
“It was a huge advantage for him to play with us, get the reps and be the main guy out there,” offensive tackle David Diehl said. “He has handled everything well, even if something bad has happened. That’s key for a quarterback. When something bad happens, are they going to hang their head or step up and learn? He has done a tremendous job of bouncing back and being ready to go.”
Manning said that the 25-year-old Bomar has grown up this season.
“He doesn’t have a lot of playing experience, just some preseason. But you have seen him these last few weeks get a lot more reps and get more comfortable with everything going on,” Manning said. “He is in there competing, making plays and doing good stuff.”
Bomar has completed 29 of 53 passes for 374 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in the preseason. He also gives the offense an extra dimension that Manning doesn’t provide. He can run, rushing six times for 43 yards, a 7.2 yard average.
“I have had my moments in the games,” Bomar said. “They haven’t been perfect. I am still learning as I go, but I am trying to get better every game, every rep.”
Receiver Steve Smith, who set a franchise record with 107 catches last season, says the strong-armed Bomar has more touch on the ball this season and is making quicker decisions.
“He’s a tough kid,” Smith said. “You have to see some of the shots he has taken the last two weeks. He hasn’t said a word. He keeps his mouth closed and keeps on going.”
A fifth-round draft pick out of Sam Houston State in 2009, Bomar spent most of last season on the Giants’ practice squad. He came to training camp as an outsider for the No. 2 spot.
Sorgi was signed as a free agent in the offseason after backing up Eli’s brother, Peyton, in Indianapolis for the past six years. Coughlin said he will probably need surgery on his shoulder.
NOTES: CB Aaron Ross had the cast removed from his right foot on Sunday and continues to rehab his torn plantar fascia. …TE Travis Beckum missed Tuesday’s practice with an undisclosed neck problem. ..G Chris Snee’s wife, Kate, gave birth to their third son, Walker Ryan on Monday night. It’s Tom Coughlin’s 10th grandchild. … Coughlin celebrated his 64th birthday on Tuesday. Players sang “Happy Birthday” after practice.
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