Eli Manning and Rashad Jennings are likely to have some awkward conversations in the Giants’ locker room over the coming days, but publicly at least, Jennings has apologized for throwing his quarterback under the bus, MSN is reporting.
Here’s what happened: on Sunday night, in the waning minutes of the Giants’ game against the Cowboys, Manning and the Giants had the lead. Thinking the Cowboys were out of timeouts, when in fact they had one, Manning instructed Jennings not to score a touchdown, telling him instead to to bring the ball close to the goal line and not score, hoping to run out the clock. The plan backfired, and the Cowboys wound up winning the game, dealing the Giants a devastating 27-26 loss.
On Monday, ESPN football columnist Dan Graziano tweeted that he had spoken to Rashad Jennings about the ill-fated decision, and said that Jennings had confirmed that Manning had told him not to score.
Just spoke with Giants RB Rashad Jennings, who confirms that he was told in the huddle before first and second down, “Rashad, don’t score.”
— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) September 14, 2015
Although what Rashad Jennings told Graziano is true, it was a public breach of locker-room etiquette of the highest magnitude. And on Wednesday, writing in his weekly column in the New York Post, Jennings apologized.
“First of all, let me say that I want to apologize from my heart for the negative light that I unintentionally cast my quarterback and friend Eli Manning in. I continue to have the utmost respect for him, and I have complete trust in his leadership. It is a strange and unwelcome feeling I have that after all these years as a professional football player, I finally get to experience the other side of how words can be misconstrued.”
Eli Manning, for his part, has already stated that it’s all water under the bridge, according to Bleacher Report.
“Rashad didn’t do anything wrong. We’ve chatted. We’ve talked. We’re great.”
Graziano, whose tweet started the whole kerfuffle in the first place, thinks it’s bad form for a professional athlete to have to apologize for answering reporters’ questions honestly.
Bizarre world, where a player must apologize for honestly answering questions about what happened in a football game.
— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) September 16, 2015
Similarly, MSN football analyst Steve DelVecchio isn’t impressed with Jennings’ apology, either, considering that it was either Manning, or Giants coach Tom Coughlin, or both of them, whose boneheaded decision-making put Rashad Jennings in such a tight spot to begin with.
“Coughlin and Manning have been around long enough to know they blew it. Even if the Giants thought the Cowboys had one timeout left, why did they care? The right move would have been securing the two-possession lead instead of trying to get cute. A guy who gets paid this much money is supposed to know that.”
Do you believe that Rashad Jennings was right to apologize for supposedly throwing Eli Manning under the bus?
[Image courtesy of: Getty Images / Elsa]