Daniel Jones [1296x729]
Daniel Jones [1296x729] (Credit: Brandon Sloter/Image Of Sport/Getty Images)

Ref body PFA create ex-player fast track scheme

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is already back on the field practicing during OTAs and has no doubt he will be ready for Week 1 against the Minnesota Vikings, despite tearing the ACL in his right knee late last year.

Jones showed no ill effects while participating in individual and 7-on-7 drills Thursday, just six months after injuring that knee in a November loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.

"It feels good. It felt good out there [Thursday]," he said. "But just getting back in the swing of things and playing football against a defense, against guys moving around. I thought it was good [Thursday]. Continue to kind of progress and continue to work on things."

The goal for Jones has always been to be cleared for the start of training camp in late July. That hasn't changed. Jones has been out on the field for all three voluntary OTA practices (except for 11-on-11 drills) this week and is moving well.

Jones is not even wearing a brace on the knee.

"His movement skills have been good," coach Brian Daboll said before the practice.

Jones feels strongly, given the progress he's made, about being ready for the start of the season.

"No, I don't have any doubt about it right now," he said.

Jones' immediate future wasn't so certain as of last month. Multiple sources have told ESPN the Giants were looking into trading into the top three of the NFL draft, where the belief is quarterback Drake Maye would have been the target. A deal never got especially close, and the New England Patriots selected Maye at pick No. 3.

It granted Jones a reprieve.

"Yeah, I wasn't fired up about it," Jones said after chuckling at the thought of the Giants selecting a quarterback with their top pick. "I think it's part of it at this level, like I said. What I can do is focus on myself. Getting healthy and playing the best football that I can play, and that I know I'm capable of playing. That is my job and that is what I'm going to do."

Jones said he was sitting at home watching the draft like the rest of us. The Giants have said they texted Jones right before making their pick, which ultimately turned into a playmaker who could help him succeed. They took LSU wide receiver Malik Nabers at No. 6.

There wasn't a conversation about the team's quarterback pursuit.

"No. Talked about the pick," Jones said. "Talked about getting Malik and getting to work with him."

Jones doesn't seem offended.

"I don't think you can take anything personally at this level," he said. "How exactly it happened and what happened, I'm not sure I know, I'm not sure you know. At the end of the day, I'm focused on playing good football."

That would be his best-case scenario heading into a pivotal season. The Giants signed Jones to a four-year, $160 million deal last offseason, but they can reasonably get out of the deal after this season.

At the moment, the two sides appear to be on solid ground.

"Yeah, I feel good about where we're going," Jones said. "I feel good about this team and my job is to get healthy and play good football."

The Giants like what they have seen so far this spring. It's why Jones was practicing on the indoor turf at the team's facility on Thursday even after rain forced them inside.

It's why he's progressed into 7-on-7 drills.

"He looks good," Daboll said. "We're not putting him in some team stuff, but he's making progress so that's why we got him in 7-on-7."

Jones feels good about where he's at two months before the start of training camp. So good that it's not out of the realm of possibilities to be cleared earlier.

"Just continue day by day with the process," he said. "I think we're in a good spot. Obviously, the goal was to be ready to go by the first day of training camp, but I'm going to push to be ready as soon as possible. I have a lot of trust and faith in our trainers and coaches."