New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning made it clear that he is nowhere near done playing professional football, even if he doesn’t yet know where he’ll continue his Hall of Fame career after this season.
Speaking to reporters following his first game in which he did not start nor play, Manning said he plans on playing next year, but wouldn’t say if he reassessed whether he plans to finish out his career with the Giants.
“There’s no point. Can’t control what’s gonna happen, so finish out we’ve got four games left, finish out this season in whatever capacity they need me to do and go from there,” he said.
WATCH: Eli Manning meets the media following Sunday’s game pic.twitter.com/cJy2h7mROi
— New York Giants (@Giants) December 4, 2017
Manning reiterated that it was difficult for him to be a spectator as the team he gave his heart and soul to for 14 seasons suffered its 10th loss of the season, but added that he understood the need for the franchise to see what they had with the other quarterbacks.
“I wanna be out there, I wanna be playing. But this is the situation we’re in. And 2-9, and they want to take a look at other guys, so I understand it,” he said.
“I’m not mad at anybody. I think when you’re in this situation, whatever happens there’s a reason and you have to accept it.”
Manning also absolved anyone of any blame regarding how his situation was handled, instead taking the high road, as he usually does.
“I think Coach McAdoo tried to do something right by me by saying he we’ll let you play but just knowing I was coming out of the game, I couldn’t play that way,” he said.
“I appreciated it. I thought he was trying to do me a favor. But it’s just not the way I could go into a game, knowing I would be pulled out. So I appreciate him, I appreciate them kind of giving me that option, but I think they understood when I said I couldn’t do it that way.”
Manning, who last week gave an emotional press conference at his locker when first talking about his demotion—at times he looked close to tears—said that as the week went on, he was determined to be a good teammate and do whatever he could to support Geno Smith in his first start as the Giants quarterback.
He also said he was overwhelmed by the number of people who reached out to throw their support behind him, particularly former teammates who openly expressed their shock and dismay over the Giants decision that rocked the NFL.
“I think the fact the amount of people that reached out to me this week, the importance of being a teammate really kind of hit it home just through the fact that all the old teammates that have reached out to me,” he said.
“I appreciate their support, I appreciate the things they say and it’s kind of helped me get through these tough days. But it reminded me I need to be a good teammate to everybody here and do my part.”
As for the report by ESPN claiming that McAdoo would be fired by Monday, Manning said, “I don’t want that. I don’t want anybody to get fired. When a coach gets fired, it’s usually because the team and the players and myself haven’t performed up to our duties. So I don’t want to see that; I hope there’s no truth to it.”