Kadarius Toney says happy with New York Giants win, not disappointed with lack of playing time

Kadarius Toney says happy with New York Giants win, not disappointed with lack of playing time

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ — New York Giants second-year wide receiver Kadarius Toney said he wasn’t disappointed to play just seven snaps in a 21-20 season-opening win over the New York Titans. Tennessee Sunday. His team won, and ultimately it was not his decision.

“I get paid to play, not to coach,” Toney said on Wednesday. “I don’t know what the plan was. At the end of the day, I have to prepare like I’m going to play every game. I don’t know what else to say.”

Toney only saw two snaps in the first half. The dynamic point guard still hasn’t played a bigger role in the game, even after rookie receiver Wan’Dale Robinson left in the second quarter with a knee injury.

But Toney took the lack of playing time on Sunday behind Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard, Robinson, David Sills and even Richie James in stride.

“Disappointed by the victory? Disappointed with victory? he said rhetorically. “You look crazy.”

How about being surprised by the lack of playing time then?

“In the end, I did my job,” Toney said. “I get paid to do one thing. Do my job, bro.”

Coach Brian Daboll said Toney was part of several specific packages and games; the Giants just didn’t have many of them in the win. Toney finished with two touches — both on second-half carries — for 23 yards.

This made apparent his current position in the large reception hall. James, not Toney, played a bigger role when Robinson left the game, and he led the Giants with five receptions on six targets for 59 yards.

“We’ll see what happens this week,” Daboll said on Monday. “The guys who were there, we have confidence. We have confidence in Kadarius. I think, again, I already talked about it a few weeks ago with our receiving position: it’s a competitive situation. And they will be evaluated on a weekly basis, so in terms of inactive, playing time or number of games, everyone has to earn their role. A week can be an entire game; a week can be less.

“But Kadarius has done a good job learning our stuff. I have no concerns about him knowing our information.”

It looks like Toney, a first-round pick last year in Florida, needs to buy his game time. He hasn’t been on the court much since the Giants’ new regime took over.

Toney underwent knee surgery earlier this year that kept him out of the spring, and a hamstring issue in training camp also cost him time. This follows a rookie year that was riddled with all sorts of wounds and inconsistencies. He treated hamstring, ankle, shoulder, quad and abdominal injuries. He also had COVID-19 twice.

At some point last spring, Toney quit practice because he was wearing the wrong size cleats.

Toney had 39 catches for 420 yards in 10 games as a rookie. The Giants need to see he’s capable of being available and trustworthy before giving him a bigger role. Toney will have to show them that he deserves more playing time by working hard and being on the training ground.

“If it’s necessary, that’s what I have to do,” he said. “Everyone knows I had the injury a few weeks ago why I wasn’t on the pitch. So I guess that’s just [has to do] with that. I do not know what to say.”

Toney, 23, says he is physically fine at this point. He was fully involved in training all last week. He was moving well and without any limitations during Wednesday’s practice.

Toney hasn’t received any major statements from the technical staff regarding the lack of playing time on Sunday.

“Nothing. It’s more fair that we have another game. It’s bigger than a game,” Toney said. “We have a 17-game season. It’s always the mentality of moving forward.”

Running back Saquon Barkley thinks it will only be a matter of time before Toney makes bigger contributions on the field; he’s too talented not to.

“I spoke to him,” said Barkley, a team captain. “It wasn’t really about pumping it up. It was about continuing to work. Continuing to go through the process. … He’s a very talented person. I think you can see that when the rock is in his hands.

“If he keeps playing, I think we’ll see him get a bit more involved in attack and make more plays for us.”

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