Giants coach Joe Judge sees opportunity for rookie Kadarius Toney to 'make some plays' amid WR injuries

·2 min read
Kadarius Toney Falcons cropped
Kadarius Toney Falcons cropped

Giants wide receivers Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard sustained leg injuries in Sunday's 17-14 loss to the Falcons. As a result, New York could turn to rookie speedster and first-round pick Kadarius Toney, head coach Joe Judge told reporters Monday.

"He's working really hard," Judge said of Toney, whom quarterback Daniel Jones targeted three times for two receptions and 16 yards (8.0 average) in Week 3 against Atlanta. "... Obviously, this guy's made some strides for us the more football he's played. If you're asking specifically, 'Is he going to take over a role for Slayton or Shep?' I think those are guys with a lot more time in the league. So to say that someone's going to jump in and just replicate maybe what we do completely with those guys, I don't think that's something that we'll look to do.

"It's going to be more about play to his strengths, get him the opportunity to get the ball and make some plays. I was pleased with how he played (Sunday), pleased with the progress he's making. But I think he's definitely ready to keep progressing with our offense and find ways to get him the ball."

Since a five-snap debut Sept. 12 -- the Giants' 27-13 season-opening loss to the Denver Broncos, in which Toney caught two passes for negative-two yards -- he has since seen his playing time increase with 19 and 46 snaps, respectively, over Weeks 2 and 3. Toney was not targeted Sept. 16, a 30-29 loss at the Washington Football Team.

"It's something we're focused on right now," Judge said of targeting Toney more as the Giants (0-3) approach Week 4 looking for a win this coming Sunday at the New Orleans Saints, a 1 p.m. kickoff. "And if we've got the opportunity to get him the ball, we definitely want to. (Sunday), just a couple of glimpses of getting the ball in his hands. He's got the ability to make some guys miss in space, he runs hard and he competes. He comes off the ball with a different level of speed than a lot of guys.

"So in terms of trying to get him the ball, that's definitely a focus for us going forward. I'm not going to say we're going to manufacture 50-60 snaps artificially with him, but in terms of how the (New Orleans) Saints are playing going forward and if the opportunity presents itself, we'll definitely try to get him the ball."

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