Kyle Lauletta damaged his chance to be Giants’ starting QB

Kyle Lauletta damaged his chance to be Giants’ starting QB

It seemed like a throwaway line that prompted a few chuckles from his audience of reporters after Pat Shurmur was asked Tuesday about his plans for the rest of the bye week.

“Stay out of trouble,” the Giants head coach said. Evidently, his players didn’t get the memo.

Kyle Lauletta was already in trouble when Shurmur made the statement after the first-year quarterback was arrested by New Jersey police Tuesday morning for dangerous driving near Weehawken. It not only caused him to miss practice, but adds to the pile of embarrassment the Giants are heaping on themselves.

How dumb can you be?

This is the week Shurmur and the coaching staff will presumably take a hard look at the possibility of replacing a struggling Eli Manning with Lauletta, a fourth-round draft pick from Richmond. There has been no real indication Shurmur is ready to make the move, only his statement he will spend the bye week evaluating every aspect of the team and consider changes where needed.

Figure on Manning remaining the starter now as Lauletta has slammed the door shut on any chance he had to be under center for their Nov. 12 game against the 49ers in San Francisco. At the very least, Lauletta’s arrest brings into question his decision-making and whether he can be counted on to be the new leader of the offense.

“This is obviously very disappointing,” Shurmur said in a statement that was released after the coach had initially told reporters “everybody” had attended the morning practice session.

If Shurmur simply forgot Lauletta wasn’t part of the practice, it probably doesn’t bode well for the quarterback to make the leap to starter. If by chance Shurmur was covering for Lauletta — which seems farfetched — the coach can’t be happy about all this making him look deceptive with the media.

As bad as the Giants performances have been during this miserable 1-7 nightmare, they didn’t need any off-the-field transgressions to bring more negative attention to the team. If published reports are correct, there’s no way the Giants can hand the ball to Lauletta when the Giants play the 49ers.

So much for a quiet bye week.

Lauletta, who turns 23 next month, wasn’t arrested on gun-related charges or anything to do with drugs or domestic violence. Plus, everyone is deemed innocent until proven guilty.

Still, it’s troubling this isn’t his first auto-related infraction. According to various sources, he received a speeding ticket in February; a citation for defective equipment in May 2017 and a failure to obey a highway sign in January 2017. Jersey police also said Lauletta made the same illegal turn Monday that he did Tuesday.

Though Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley suggested the cause for Tuesday’s arrest was “probably nothing crazy because of the kind of person he is,” Lauletta’s driving record suggests a disregard for rules and authority along with an indifference to the safety of others sharing the road with him.

Consider this: he was on his way to practice when he allegedly disobeyed a traffic officer — never a good thing to do in Jersey — and nearly struck the officer. When he was eventually stopped he “refused” to produce his driver’s license and registration and get out of his car. We can only assume “I’m about to replace Eli Manning as the Giants quarterback” didn’t work.

Before news of Lauletta’s arrest became public, Shurmur was speaking in general terms when he said, “Most of the guys, if not all of them should be out here practicing trying to get better to help contribute in a positive way the last eight games.”

Lauletta didn’t do that Tuesday and likely has ruined any chance of replacing Manning anytime soon, especially if he can’t get to work without being arrested for the way he’s driving.

Hopefully, the rest of his players will heed Shurmur’s advice and stay out of trouble. The Giants have enough problems already.