NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Ben McAdoo hasn’t announced whether he intends to play his starters the usual number of snaps Sunday at Washington, but Giants players say they’re approaching the game just like any other week.
New York (10-5) is locked into the fifth seed in the playoffs. So for McAdoo, this week comes down to two lines of thinking: rest his key players to prevent against injury or play them, hoping to win and go into the playoffs on a positive note, rather than on a two-game losing streak.
“I’m going to do whatever Coach McAdoo thinks is best for the team, for me and for us going forward,” quarterback Eli Manning said Monday.
“My thought is to play. I haven’t thought about sitting. My mindset is getting prepared for Washington.”
Manning said he wasn’t concerned in the wake of season-ending injuries to quarterbacks Ryan Tannehill, Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota.
“As a player, you don’t think about injuries,” he said, according to the New York Daily News. “You know that’s a part of the game. … You can’t be worried about that.”
Linebacker Jonathan Casillas echoed Manning’s sentiments.
“Whatever Coach McAdoo decides to do, it’ll be a good plan for us, and we trust his process,” Casillas said.
Casillas, however, said he and McAdoo would love to redeem themselves against the Redskins after losing to them 29-27 in Week 3.
“We still want to finish this regular season strong,” he said. “Washington has beat us already. Coach is a guy that wants to beat them.”
The Giants are banged up in some spots. Pro Bowl cornerback Janoris Jenkins missed last week’s loss at Philadelphia with a back injury. Safety Nat Behre has been out since Week 12 with a concussion. Odell Beckham Jr. has been dealing with a thumb injury. And Casillas has been playing through a knee injury.
The Redskins certainly wouldn’t mind facing a Giants team that is at less than full strength. Washington is 8-6-1 and sits a half-game behind Green Bay for the second wild card. The Redskins need to beat the Giants and get some help to sneak into the postseason.
Meanwhile, the Giants know they’ll face either Seattle, Atlanta, Detroit or Green Bay on the road in their first playoff game. Neither Manning nor Casillas have a preference.
“As a team and as a unit, we should embrace whoever we get with open arms and be thankful we have the opportunity,” Casillas said.