Eli Manning doesn’t miss Giants days like this one

There is plenty about the game he misses.

Eli Manning does not miss Monday mornings like this.

Not the day after another loss, this one etched with the terrible markings of a season-ending knee injury to star running back Saquon Barkley.

“It’s a tough day,” Manning told The Post. “I feel for the players, I feel for Saquon. I feel for him as a player. Injuries are never fun and for teams to deal with that. They got to find ways to bounce back and stay motivated and to rise up. Everybody’s got to raise the level of play.”

For 16 years, these sorts of downers were Manning’s to bear. Not anymore. He watched the second half of the 17-13 loss to the Bears at home, with daughter Ava, the oldest of his four kids. The Giants had a chance on a last-gasp drive but a final Daniel Jones pass to Golden Tate was flagged for offensive pass interference.

“She was getting excited as they were making the drive down there,” Manning said. “We saw the flag on the last play, we were hoping it was on the defense and getting excited. But after that it’s not too hard to turn it off. When you have four kids around and they’re ready to go do something it makes it easy to, ‘Alright, let’s go to the park, let’s go outside’ and it makes it easier to put it behind you.”

The Giants will find it more difficult to put this behind them. They are 0-2 for the fourth consecutive year and now Barkley is gone.

“I feel for my teammates and the guys that I know,” Manning said. “I feel for Daniel and Evan [Engram] and Sterling [Shepard] and Saquon, especially, with the injury. The Maras, the people you’re close to and you know what it means to them. I’ve been in their shoes before and I know that feeling.”

These first two games are the first time Manning has ever rooted for the Giants as a fan. It reminded him of the way he felt watching older brother Peyton play for the Colts and later the Broncos.

“I want him to win but at the end of the day if they lost, it’s not gonna affect my week going forward,” said Manning, who is promoting the “Watch Together” co-viewing experience on the Yahoo Sports App.

“It’s kinda how I feel about the Giants and about Daniel. I’m still watching plays, I’m still watching individuals. I kinda find myself, especially the guys that I know, ‘Hey, great play Evan’ or ‘Hey, are we gonna block Khalil Mack?’ Watching and rooting for the guys and the team to go out and get a win.”

Manning spoke with Jones in the spring and summer and texts back and forth are commonplace. These messages are about encouragement; Manning is a friend and former teammate and not Jones’ coach.

Jones nearly brought the Giants back from a 17-0 deficit but had two more turnovers, giving him four in two games.

“I think he looked comfortable out there,” Manning said. “He’s making some great plays with his feet and scrambling. He made a great third down little scramble flip to the running back for the first down late in the third quarter that led to that scoring drive. He’s run for a few first downs. I think that will help him because that is a weapon for him.

“I think he’s playing well. I think he’s gone against two tough defenses to start the season. It doesn’t get much easier. It’s always hard. I know he’ll keep grinding and keep working and he’ll figure it out.”

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