Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

NFL Notes: Giants Bench Eli Manning

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

NFL Notes: Giants Bench Eli Manning

Article excerpt

The Eli Manning era with the New York Giants may be coming to an end.

And if it is, it is ending ugly.

The Giants announced Tuesday that the two-time Super Bowl MVP was being benched for the first time in more than 13 years so they could evaluate the other quarterbacks on the roster over the final month of an injury-filled season.

The decision to sit the 36-year-old Manning was totally unexpected, especially with five games left in the regular season.

It was clear the decision hurt and annoyed Manning, who has been the face of the Giants (2-9) since they made a bold draft day trade with the-then San Diego Chargers in 2004 to swap first-round picks and bring the No. 1 overall selection to the Meadowlands.

Manning expressed his unhappiness but once again he played the good soldier, voicing his support for fellow veteran Geno Smith, who will start against Oakland on Sunday.

His emotional pain was all over his face. His eyes welled with tears talking to reporters. His chin quivered when asked about how much this hurt. His face got red the more he talked.

Coach Ben McAdoo gave Manning the option of starting to keep his streak of 210 consecutive starts alive, but he didn't want any part of that.

"You start knowing you are going to come out of the game to keep a streak alive, maybe, that's not what it is about," Manning said.

Manning spoke with the media for less than four minutes.

McAdoo said he made the decision to start Smith over the weekend, and co-owner John Mara and general manager Jerry Reese were in agreement.

"This is not a statement about anything other than we are 2-9, and we have to do what is best for the organization moving forward, and that means evaluating every position," general manager Jerry Reese said in a statement.

Manning's streak is the second-longest by a quarterback in NFL history, behind Brett Favre's 297. Manning has started every Giants game since Nov. 21, 2004, when he took over for veteran Kurt Warner in the 10th game of his rookie season.

Manning has also started 12 postseason games, twice leading the Giants to Super Bowl wins. …

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