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New York Giants to Start With Tyrod Taylor As Tommy Devito put on Bench

Tommy Devito (Credits: NFL)

The New York Giants will turn to Tyrod Taylor as their starting quarterback against the Los Angeles Rams this Sunday, relegating rookie Tommy DeVito to the bench after a stretch of six consecutive starts, head coach Brian Daboll announced on Wednesday.

DeVito, who captured the hearts of fans as an undrafted rookie and local hero, was replaced by Taylor during Monday’s 33-25 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Taylor impressed with a touchdown pass in the second half and nearly orchestrated a game-tying drive in the closing moments.

“I thought [Taylor] did some good things in the second half against Philly, so he earned the right to start this game,” Daboll explained. “We’re focusing on preparing for the Rams. That’s where we stand.”

The Giants (5-10) opted to stick with DeVito as the starter earlier this month when veteran Taylor returned from injured reserve due to a rib injury. Daboll justified the decision, citing DeVito’s merit as the starter.

DeVito led the Giants to victory over the Green Bay Packers in his first start, marking their third consecutive win. However, they have since suffered two consecutive losses, prompting Daboll to bench DeVito while trailing 20-3 at halftime in Philadelphia.

DeVito’s tenure as starter encompassed six games, during which he threw seven touchdown passes to one interception while the team posted a 3-3 record.

“Yeah, I’ll continue to be a good teammate. Obviously, it’s the coaches’ decision. I don’t have any say in that,” DeVito acknowledged. “But I’ll keep being supportive and compete whenever needed.”

Taylor completed 7 of 16 passes for 133 yards, including a touchdown and an interception on a final-second heave to end the game against the Eagles. His touchdown pass was a well-placed deep throw to wide receiver Darius Slayton for a 69-yard score.

The veteran quarterback, who lost his starting role to DeVito due to injury, now has another opportunity, especially with free agency looming at the end of the season.

“It means everything to me,” Taylor expressed about reclaiming the starting position. “The effort you put in week after week—I’ve been in this game a long time—whenever you get the chance to put on the cleats and compete, it means the world to me.

That’s when I’m happiest. It’s what I love to do, to go out and prove to yourself and your peers what you’re capable of.”

Tyrod Taylor (Credits: Getty Images)

The decision to start Taylor underscores the Giants’ belief that he provides the best chance to win. It reinforces the team’s commitment to winning, despite being officially eliminated from playoff contention this week.

DeVito will serve as the backup, with no other healthy quarterbacks available after veteran Matt Barkley was signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars from the Giants’ practice squad on Tuesday.

“Both [Taylor and DeVito] are prepared and ready to fulfill their roles. When their number is called, we expect them to be ready,” Daboll assured.

Despite not starting, DeVito intends to maintain his approach.

“I’ll continue to stay even-keeled,” he stated. “Never too high or too low because when you’re up, everyone loves you. When you’re down, everyone hates you. So, for me, it’s about staying steady through it all.”

DeVito’s tenure as quarterback since early November has been eventful, sparking excitement in the New York-New Jersey area reminiscent of “Linsanity,” when Jeremy Lin surprised the sports world while playing for the New York Knicks in 2011.

DeVito’s popularity surged due to his on-field performance, including a three-game winning streak and a stellar ratio of seven touchdown passes to one interception, coupled with his relatable persona to local fans.

Celebrating touchdowns with gestures acknowledging his Italian heritage, he gained the affectionate nickname “Tommy Cutlets” from fans and teammates.

“We’re rolling with it,” DeVito previously remarked about the nickname.

Through it all, DeVito also proved something significant to himself.

“That I belong in the NFL, specifically,” DeVito affirmed. “Just going out there and proving that to myself, to the younger version of me who trained tirelessly to reach this point, that’s what it’s all about.”

DeVito began the season as a practice-squad quarterback for the Giants after going undrafted from the University of Illinois earlier this year. He returns to the role of backup, which he held when Taylor was initially sidelined due to injury in a game against the New York Jets on October 29.

The decision comes just eight days after Daboll indicated DeVito had earned the starting role and expressed reluctance about continuing to switch quarterbacks on a weekly basis. Nonetheless, DeVito could still potentially start another game this season.

“I don’t know what the future holds, not even tomorrow,” DeVito admitted. “I’ll just keep showing up and giving my best every day.”

The Giants will host the Eagles in Week 18 at MetLife Stadium.

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