There will be an Alabama-Georgia football doubleheader this weekend, courtesy of the SEC Championship game … and the Giants’ game at the Dolphins.
After the two college powerhouses meet Saturday, the Dolphins will have Tua Tagovailoa throwing passes to fellow Alabama alumnus Jaylen Waddle against a Giants team with six Georgia alumni on its roster. Former Bulldog Jake Fromm, who was signed off the Bills practice squad this week, will be the Giants’ No. 2 quarterback behind Mike Glennon and thus will be in uniform for an NFL regular-season game for the first time in his career.
“It feels like home here,” Fromm said jokingly after Friday’s practice.
Fromm started the 2018 College Football Playoff championship game for Georgia, which led Alabama, 13-0, at halftime. Tagovailoa, then a true freshman, replaced Jalen Hurts in the second half and led the comeback to a 26-23 overtime win capped by his touchdown pass to DeVonta Smith.
“It doesn’t haunt me in any way,” Fromm said. “Obviously, wish it would have turned out a little differently. It was a great play by them. It was a great game. It would have meant a lot to me and the state of Georgia, but you can’t change the past. Just excited to be here now and look forward to the game.”
Fromm had just finished a Tuesday walk-through with the Bills — who already have faced the Dolphins twice — when he found out he was changing teams and had new playbook terminology to learn at warp speed. He said he was told immediately of the chance he could be active Sunday given starter Daniel Jones’ mysterious neck injury.
“I look at it as more of an opportunity to get really excited about,” Fromm said. “Obviously hope nothing does happen [to Glennon], but I just want to be ready if that ever does happen and try to help this team win a football game.”
The injury report listed WRs Kadarius Toney (oblique/quad) and Sterling Shepard (quad) as doubtful, and WR John Ross (illness/quad), TE Kyle Rudolph (ankle), RT Nate Solder (elbow) and special teamer Cullen Gillaspia (calf) as questionable. Solder’s injury is new.
QB Daniel Jones (neck) and CB Adoree’ Jackson (quad) will not play. OLB Trent Harris (ankle) and TE Kaden Smith (knee) were put on injured reserve and will miss at least the next three games.
In terms of matchups, it’s a bad week to be without Jackson, who likely would’ve drawn Waddle given his job covering the opponent’s fastest receiver. And it’s a worse week to potentially be without the quickness of Toney and Shepard to catch screens and other blitz-beaters.
Giants safety Xavier McKinney, a budding star, will face a former Alabama teammate at quarterback (Tagovailoa) for a second straight week. He intercepted Hurts in the win over the Eagles last week.
“They ain’t teammates no more,” McKinney said. “Those are my opponents. I treat them as such. I don’t play fair. I’m trying to win the game. I don’t expect them to make it easy for me and I’m not going to make it easy for them.”
McKinney said he only intercepted Tagovailoa in practice once in three years at Alabama.
“He’s tough to get,” McKinney said. “When you get one, you work really hard for that one. He’s good with eyes and being able to look you off.”