New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is set to become the first rookie to start all 13 games of a season since 2008 when his predecessor, Drew Brees, started all 13 in 2008.
In a rare move, Manning will be the only rookie in the NFL to start in 13 games for the first time since 2008, when he did it for the New York Bills.
Bears coach Marc Trestman said Manning’s starting spot is “a little bit of a surprise,” but the franchise was already comfortable with the idea of giving the rookie quarterback a chance to play.
Manning has been one of the NFL’s best players in each of his first two seasons.
He started all 12 games for New York in 2016, completing 64.3 percent of his passes for 1,056 yards with 17 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
The Bills lost their final four games of the regular season to fall to 3-9, but they were a strong team on the road, winning three of their last four games.
Bills coach Doug Marrone said he felt good about the move, but also that he would need to see how Manning’s new teammates react.
“Eli was in a tough spot with the loss of [Running Back] Mike Gillislee, so that was a tough blow to deal with,” Marrone told the Buffalo News on Wednesday.
“He is a young man.
He needs to do some of that work and make sure his teammates understand the situation and get to him as soon as possible.”
Manning had his share of ups and downs this season.
He had a 4.0-yard average on his first eight attempts in the 2016 season finale, and he missed the final five games of that season after he suffered a neck injury.
He completed 60.9 percent of those passes the past two seasons, but the Jets have had a very good offense this season, ranking No. 2 in the league in total offense.
They are fifth in the NFC East.
Manning has also had his struggles with the New Orleans Saints, who traded up to get him in the second round of the draft last spring.
He has not played well in that environment, though, and was limited to five starts in 2017 before a broken collarbone sidelined him for the season.
The Bills had no plans to give Manning a long-term contract, but were in the market for a veteran starter.
Manning is entering his fourth season and his third as the starter.
He threw for 1.88 yards per attempt in 2016 and his passer rating of 103.8 was his lowest since 2013.
He was sacked just 12 times in his first six starts last season.