The New York Giants won a surprise win over the Tennessee Titans to kick off the 2022 season. But what happened on the field during the Giants’ win over Tennessee wasn’t the only surprising outcome of the season opener.
What didn’t happen – and who didn’t – on the pitch quickly became a story too.
Giants’ sophomore wide receiver Kadarius Toney was a non-factor for the Giants. Toney played just seven snaps against the Titans, two less than Rookie Wan’Dale Robinson who left the game midway through the first quarter with an injury. Journeyman Richie James, meanwhile, played 42 snaps and had five receptions.
Giants head coach Brian Daboll assured reporters and fans that Toney is a factor in the Giants’ offense.
“We had more than seven plays for him, but they weren’t called out,” he said. “We’ll see what happens this week.”
He added that the Giants’ receiving corps is a competitive situation and players would be evaluated from week to week.
For his part, Toney says he was willing to take to the field if asked, even though it didn’t actually happen.
“You go in and want to do what you can for the team,” he said on Wednesday. “That’s what I did. At the end of the day, I was there when my number was called. Easy.”
Toney added that the coaches told him after the game that packages and situations in which he would be on the field did not come up. Toney said, “If he… [Coach Daboll] said, I had multiple formations that I should be in, and we didn’t get around to it. There’s nothing else that really needs to be explained.”
Aside from the game situations, Toney faced injuries in training camp and in the preseason, which limited the time he could be on the practice pitch. Rookie edge defender Kayvon Thibodeaux has said he knows he needs to practice and earn his way onto the field after his injury.
That seems to be a common refrain from the Giants coaching staff, and Toney acknowledged the same.
“If that’s what it takes [being available for practice], that’s what I have to do,” he said. “Everyone knows I was injured a few weeks ago and that’s why I wasn’t on the pitch. I think that’s just that, I don’t know. I don’t know what to say.”
Toney doesn’t know what the coming weeks will bring, whether he will become a fixture on offense or a rotational player. That is a coaching decision and not in his job description.
“I get paid to do one thing, do my job,” he said. “I get paid to play, not coach. I don’t know what the plan was. At the end of the day, I just prepped like I went in and played every game. I don’t know what else to do say.”
But even with just two touches on seven snaps the entire game, Toney wasn’t disappointed in his role.
“Disappointed in a win? Disappointed in winning? You sound crazy.”
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