The team announced Tuesday that Geno Smith will start at quarterback Sunday in Oakland versus the Raiders. Coach Ben McAdoo said rookie Davis Webb will also play, if not in Week 13, then some point before the end of the season.
"Geno will start this week," McAdoo said, via the team's official website. "Over the last five games, we will take a look at Geno, and we will also give Davis an opportunity."
The switch ends Manning's streak of 210 consecutive regular-season starts, the second-longest streak by a QB in NFL history, behind Brett Favre (297).
With the 2-9 Giants desiring to test-drive their backups in a lost season, Manning respectfully bowed out.
"Coach McAdoo told me I could continue to start while Geno and Davis are given an opportunity to play," Manning said. "My feeling is that if you are going to play the other guys, play them. Starting just to keep the streak going and knowing you won't finish the game and have a chance to win it is pointless to me, and it tarnishes the streak. Like I always have, I will be ready to play if and when I am needed. I will help Geno and Davis prepare to play as well as they possibly can."
The question is whether Manning has taken his final snaps for the team he helped lead to two Super Bowl championships. With possible changes to the coaching staff and front office coming at the end of the year, that query likely won't be answered until the offseason.
McAdoo told reporters Tuesday that "this is not the end of Eli in New York," and Manning will be active Sunday to back up Smith.
"This has nothing to do with my future," McAdoo said. "It's what's best for the organization moving forward."
When asked if this was the hardest day he's had with the Giants, Manning told reporters "it's up there."
"It's hard," Manning said "It's been a hard day to handle this."
In the meantime, the Giants will give Smith his first start since Week 7, 2016 with the Jets. The bigger evaluation for Big Blue will be of Webb, who has yet to take an NFL snap. If the Giants head into 2018 ready to revamp their quarterback room, they need to rule out the third-round pick being the possible solution.
"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. "I told Eli this morning that an organization could not ask for any more in a franchise quarterback. He has been that and more. Nobody knows what the future holds, but right now, this is what we think is best for the franchise."