“I’m ready to go.”
Those four words and the sentiment they convey is exactly what the Giants want and need to hear from Kadarius Toney, who so often wasn’t ready to leave early in his career.
Toney didn’t play in any of the three preseason games this summer, dealing with the after-effects of a knee procedure and then a hamstring problem, and he was rarely a full-go during training camp workouts.
“Football is unpredictable, so you can never really say what’s going to happen or what’s not going to happen,” Toney said after practice on Thursday. “You can get injured running routes in the air out there. It’s not really that hard to get hurt. But it’s all about taking care of your body, it’s all about recovery. So I’ll just have to do better.”
The real season will be soon enough—September 11—and Toney, the elusive wide receiver, should be a prominent part of new head coach Brian Daboll’s offensive system.
“Eventually I have to be available when my number is called,” Toney said. “I have a feeling the attack will be pretty good. We just have to lock up, all 11 play as one.”
Toney was a 2021 first-round pick from the previous front office and he struggled through a disappointing rookie year. He played in just 10 games and his production — 39 receptions for 420 yards and no touchdowns — was negligible.
“It’s behind me, I never really thought about it after the last game,” Toney said. “Always a progressive mentality. Now get ready for week 1.’
When asked what expectations he has for his second season, Toney said he doesn’t set any goals for himself. “I expect to do better than last year, I think you can say that,” he said. “Nothing specific, just in general. Just try to get a better mindset, you might say.”
It seemed as if, as a rookie, Toney didn’t fully understand the script. Daboll has repeatedly named Toney as a smart player.
“It’s always good to know what to expect,” Toney said. “I feel pretty good, when I get to this level I feel pretty good. It’s about getting better every day and capturing this on film.
“I feel like I’m down a lot, especially with exercise and stuff like that, I feel pretty good.”
The Giants’ top three recipients – Toney, Kenny Golladay and Sterling Shepard – haven’t exactly set the world on fire this summer. Shepard was recently activated from the list as physically unable to perform, having recovered from a ruptured Achilles tendon. Golladay had a slow camp and an unproductive preseason. Toney went for a highlight movie on the first day of camp, but the exploits were scarce.
“We are excited to see Kadarius,” said general manager Joe Schoen. “He didn’t play in pre-season games, so I’m excited to see him come on the field in a game with a meaningful chance and know the playbook and make plays.”
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