Kyle Lauletta is now all set to make his NFL and New York Giants debut during the team’s Week 14 game against the Washington Redskins.
With the Giants jumping out to a 40-0 lead and time winding down in the third quarter of their divisional game against the Redskins, starting quarterback Eli Manning appears to be done for the day. The Giants will now turn to backup quarterback and the rookie out of Richmond for the first time during the 2018 regular season. Lauletta is set to make his debut on the Giants’ next offensive possession.
It’s happening pic.twitter.com/vDowBZ2Bmb
— LPG – NYG (@LicensePlateGuy) December 9, 2018
Lauletta was first seen warming up on the sideline and practicing snaps with starting center Spencer Pulley.
Lauletta was elevated from No. 3 to No. 2 quarterback of the New York Giants prior to their 30-27 win over the Chicago Bears in Week 13 — it was the first game he was active for in his NFL career.
Lauletta’s promotion sparked intrigue from Giants fans and reporters who wondered if it was the first step toward him suiting up and starting at quarterback at some point during the stretch run of the 2018 regular season. Earlier this week, head coach Pat Shurmur shut the idea down of Lauletta starting in Week 14 by naming Eli Manning his starting quarterback. Shurmur didn’t provide much clarity about the team’s plan at quarterback beyond Week 14, but he also didn’t slam the door on the possibility of Lauletta emerging as the stater if the Giants are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.
“Maybe we will at that time (consider a quarterback change), but if we do, then that’s a question and an answer for a different time,” Shurmur said earlier this week when asked if eliminate from playoff contention would spark Lauletta getting the nod over Manning. “I think that’s fair. Are you all good with that?”
If Shurmur does decide to move forward with Lauletta as the starting quarterback at some point over the final four games, don’t expect to hear about it until the he has no other option but to share the news.
“And I may never present those answers,” Shurmur said. “There’s billion-dollar businesses that have issues of the day they don’t share with the world and I don’t think our business is any different.”
Now, he makes his debut in a blowout victory.
Lauletta has a lot of believers in the organization and legendary Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi is one of them. The man tasked with finding the next Giants franchise quarterback in 2004 and succeeding by having a conviction on Eli Manning, now has a conviction on another Giants quarterback. According to Accorsi, Lauletta has what it takes to eventually take over as the Giants franchise quarterback once Manning retires. Accorsi believes the Giants made the right move to use the No. 108 overall pick on Lauletta, but if he were in their shoes, he might have pulled the trigger on drafting Lauletta earlier in the draft.
“The steal of their draft might be a quarterback — Kyle Lauletta from Richmond,” Accorsi told the Talk of Fame Sports Network. “That kid walks into the Senior Bowl … and I know the Senior Bowl is like an all-star game. Yet with all those big names he walks away with the MVP award.”
The Senior Bowl featured two of the first three rookie quarterbacks to come off the big board within the first seven picks of the 2018 NFL Draft in Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen. Despite playing among those quarterbacks, Lauletta rose to the occasion and performed admirably en route to winning the award. Lauletta completed 8-of-12 passes for 198 yards and three touchdowns for the South in a 45-16 victory over the North in the Reese’s Senior Bowl. Most importantly, Giants coaches in attendance were able to see how Lauletta performs at a higher level of competition after playing at a small school like Richmond. The Senior Bowl features the best senior players in the nation from all of the schools (including all of the Power-5 conferences).
“The only thing he does not have is a howitzer. But neither did Montana. Neither did Garopplo. Neither did Brady when he came out,” Accorsi said. “You can increase arm strength. But he’s got everything else. He’s got footwork. He’s got the great release. He’s a winner. He’s taken teams down the field [in the last two minutes]. I know the coach at Albany said when the game was over, ‘He beat me in the fourth quarter two straight years. I went over to him to make sure he has no eligibility left.’
“I really think that was a great pick. I was hopeful they’d pick him in the third round because they had two threes, and they passed on him. Fortunately, he was there in the fourth.”