NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported Tuesday that Manning would start Sunday versus the Dallas Cowboys. The decision came after Giants coaches and staffers had final game-planning discussions, per sources informed of the decision.
The move back to Manning comes a day after Monday's firing of coach Ben McAdoo.
Reverting to the veteran quarterback a week after ending his iron-man streak is the latest admission from the Giants' organization that they bungled the situation.
Co-owner John Mara confirmed Monday that McAdoo conjured the idea to test-run Smith and Webb, but only after starting Manning for a half. Mara approved the decision and took the blame for not doing more to quash the move -- or at least insist on more finesse from McAdoo.
Manning rightfully rebuffed the idea of taking token starts simply to prolong his streak.
Smith started Sunday's loss to the Oakland Raiders, completing 21 of 34 passes for 212 yards and one touchdown. He lost two fumbles and was sacked three times. Smith's performance behind a porous offensive line, with no ground game, and few tangible receiving targets, wasn't much different than what we saw from Manning this season. Webb was inactive.
After re-installing Manning as a starter, the plan to test drive the younger quarterbacks is put back into the glove box, at least for the moment. The Giants could try to find playing time for Smith or Webb down the line if Manning struggles or games become blowouts.
Starting Manning a week after snapping his streak underscores the slipshod nature in which the organization handled their two-time Super Bowl MVP. It's also a significant mea culpa from the franchise.
The move won't change the poor decision of the past week, but perhaps giving Manning his starting job back, and allowing him to go out on his own terms, could repair some of the damage done to the relationship between the Giants and their aging franchise quarterback.
At the very least, we know the loudest cheer Sunday from the MetLife crowd will be when Manning first takes the field to restart his streak at one game.