Archie Manning told The New York Daily News on Wednesday that his son, Eli, is heartbroken after being benched by the New York Giants on Tuesday.
"Eli is not bitter," Archie Manning told the newspaper. "Just hurt."
Coach Ben McAdoo announced Tuesday that Geno Smith will start at quarterback against the Oakland Raiders this week, ending Eli Manning's streak of 210 consecutive starts. The former No. 1 overall draft pick and two-time Super Bowl MVP was nearly in tears as he spoke about the move in front of his locker Tuesday afternoon.
Speaking Tuesday at an event in Jackson, Mississippi, Archie Manning said his son is "a big boy" and "he'll handle it." On Wednesday, in comments to The New York Daily News, he was more somber, saying the move "breaks (Eli's) heart."
Asked about Eli Manning's future, either in New York or elsewhere, his father said, "there is no way of knowing."
"I don't think Eli ever envisioned, until now, playing for somebody else," Archie Manning told the newspaper. "That's the love he has for the Giants. It is kind of unique and stronger than most. It's not just the game he loves to play. He loves to play for the Giants."
Contact Tom Schad at email@example.com or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.