The plan was for Eli Manning to continue observing from the sideline throughout the end of the season.
Instead, all indications point to Manning drawing the start on Monday night when the New York Giants visit the Philadelphia Eagles.
Rookie Daniel Jones supplanted Manning as the starter in September, but he is unlikely to play after suffering a high ankle sprain during last Sunday's 31-13 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
That probably puts Manning back on the field with the Giants (2-10) trying to halt an eight-game losing streak as well as trying to hand Philadelphia (5-7) a damaging setback.
"Eli has played a lot of years at a very high level," New York coach Pat Shurmur told reporters. "We're super fortunate that he was able to help Daniel in the time that he played this year. Eli will be ready to go."
Manning, a two-time Super Bowl winner, is in his 16th season with the Giants, and it is expected to be his last. The 38-year-old has thrown for 56,537 yards, 362 touchdowns and 241 interceptions during his tenure.
This season, he passed for 556 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions before being replaced by Jones after Week 2.
Now back in the forefront, Manning tried to sideswipe away questions that centered on if getting to play again will affect his future.
"Just take it one game at a time," Manning said. "You never want to try to make decisions about your future while you're still living in the present and don't know the circumstances of what could happen.
"Just have to go out there and try to get a win for the Giants if I'm asked to do that. I'll analyze everything else after the season."
The Eagles, of course, have seen a lot of Manning over the years.
But defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz didn't sound so eager to view him on Monday.
"Jones had been holding the ball a little bit in the pocket," Schwartz told reporters. "We know Eli's not going to hold it. The ball's going to come out quick. ...
"It's going to be important to cover quick and to get to the quarterback quick and knock the timing off of their passing game when Eli's back there, because he's such a timing quarterback."
Philadelphia has defeated the Giants five straight times and nine of 10, and it badly needs to continue its series mastery.
The Eagles have dropped three consecutive games -- including a 37-31 loss to the Miami Dolphins last week -- but are just a half-game out of first place in the NFC East due to the Dallas Cowboys (6-7) also losing three in a row. Dallas lost 31-24 to the Chicago Bears on Thursday night.
Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson was irate over the loss to Miami but pointed the finger at himself.
"I'm disgusted, I'm mad, I'm angry, and I'm probably more so mad at myself," Pederson told 94WIP in Philadelphia. "... Our discipline, our consistency, the lack of that that showed up in this football game, that's on me. That's on me.
"And that's why I'm disappointed. I felt like -- and I think most people felt like -- we were the better football team."
Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz matched his season best of three touchdown passes and passed for 310 yards, the latter 3 yards shy of a season high.
Wentz had thrown just one touchdown pass in five straight games prior to the Miami game.
Tight end Zach Ertz has caught 70 passes, the fifth consecutive season he has reached the mark.
Defensively, end Brandon Graham has a team-high 7.5 sacks for a unit that will be looking to corral Manning.
Meanwhile, Giants running back Saquon Barkley says he is starting to feel healthy after rushing for 83 yards on 19 carries against the Packers.
Barkley dealt with ankle and shoulder injuries earlier in the season and also had a couple of clunkers mixed in -- 13 carries for 1 yard versus the New York Jets on Nov. 10 and eight carries for 10 yards against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sept. 22, when he hurt his ankle.
Barkley, who has 544 rushing yards, is pleased to see Manning lining up in the backfield with him again.
"I'm not here to compare and contrast Eli versus D.J. -- they're two different style quarterbacks, one has been doing it for a very long time, one is in his first year," Barkley told reporters. "But Eli, he's seen every defense, so it's like secondhand to him. He's going to be able to help put us in positions to succeed, and I think D.J. has been doing a great job of that, too. I'm just happy for Eli to get an opportunity."
--Field Level Media