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Giants aren’t acting like Kyle Lauletta has much of a future, with two meaningless games remaining in 2018

The Giants will officially be spectators for the NFL Playoffs for the second straight season and sixth time in seven years, after falling to the Tennessee Titans 17-0 on Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium.

Conventional wisdom would suggest that next Sunday in Indianapolis against the Colts, and the following week at MetLife Stadium against the Dallas Cowboys should be an opportunity to start fourth-round rookie quarterback Kyle Lauletta in an effort to evaluate the future of the position ahead of a 2019 NFL Draft that includes potential top-10 quarterbacks Justin Herbert and Dwayne Haskins.

However, one week after Lauletta failed to complete a pass and threw an interception in the fourth quarter against Washington, the Giants demoted him to the No. 3 position behind Alex Tanney and made him inactive for Sunday’s game.

“Just felt like it was going to give us the best chance to win,” Shurmur said following Sunday’s game. “That’s the reason.”

When asked if Lauletta’s demotion was connected to his struggles in mop-up duty, Shurmur said that it was a cumulative decision.

“Everything’s connected,” Shurmur said. “This week, last week, we just felt like having Alex up was going to give us the best chance to win, if he had to go in and play.”

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Shurmur, like most head coaches across the NFL, do not give the backup quarterback any reps with the first-team offense and uses the reserves to run scout-team plays, meaning that since the end of training camp Lauletta has not taken a snap in practice where he is throwing to Odell Beckham, Sterling Shepard, or running a play from the Giants’ playbook.

After getting his first taste of NFL game action last week, Lauletta wasn’t told until Sunday morning that he wouldn’t be dressing against the Titans.

“Right when I got to the stadium,” a visibly frustrated Lauletta said, when asked when the coaches told him he wasn’t going to be active. “I was just disappointed. That’s really it. Just not happy, but, I just do what I can to do my role the best I can. That was to be on the sideline and try to see stuff out there. Do the best I can, and that’s what I do.”

Lauletta said that he was surprised by Sunday’s decision.

However maybe he shouldn’t be, given how Shurmur and the coaching staff haven’t even attempted to defend his struggles last week.

“We felt like, ‘OK, let’s take a look at him and see,'” Shurmur said last Sunday at FedEx Field. “I fielded enough questions regarding Kyle Lauletta that we were interested in seeing him. Hopefully, you got a chance to see what you were looking for.”

Likewise, offensive coordinator Mike Shula didn’t offer much of an endorsement for Lauletta this week, when asked if there were any positives to be gleaned.

“Yeah, he got experience,” Shula said.

At this juncture, everything the Giants have done over the past seven days suggests that this coaching staff and front office plan to see exactly five more snaps from Lauletta than the previous regime saw from Davis Webb in his rookie season last year.

“No,” Shurmur said, when asked if there are any plans to see some of the younger players over the final two weeks now that there’s no chance at a postseason berth. “We’ll regroup, and try to do what’s best to win the next game. That’s what our focus will be.”

With a 38-year old quarterback who ranks in the bottom third in passing touchdowns, perhaps that’s not where the focus should be heading into Week 16.

Matt Lombardo may be reached Follow him on Twitter@MattLombardoNFL

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