Manning served as the scout team quarterback for the Giants at practice Wednesday, a role he assumed after being demoted as the backup behind Geno Smith for this week's game against the Raiders.
"It was weird. Definitely weird," offensive lineman Justin Pugh said, per ESPN.com's Jordan Raanan. "I know he handled himself like a true professional and I would expect nothing less from him."
The Giants announced Smith would take over as starter Tuesday, ending Manning's streak of 210 consecutive starts. It was the second-longest streak in NFL history for a quarterback. Manning's benching likely spells the beginning of the end for a tenure that saw him become arguably the best quarterback in franchise history.
"You start knowing you're coming out of the game to keep a streak alive, maybe? That's not what it's about," Manning told reporters. "That's not appreciating the game. You're gonna play a half, then the next week a quarter? A series? That's not fair. Not fair to me, not fair to Geno. That's not how you play. You play to win. You name the starting quarterback, you go win a football game."
Manning's job as the scout team quarterback was to mimic Raiders starter Derek Carr against the first-team offense.
"It was kind of crazy, cause I'm not used to seeing Eli as the No. 2," defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul said. "I still in my eyes don't see him as a No. 2 or a backup quarterback, and just rushing I realized I had to stay away from him still because that is our quarterback at the end of the day."
Manning last served as a backup under Kurt Warner for nine games during his rookie season in 2004.