NFL

Giants’ Kadarius Toney returns to practice after stay on COVID list

Wide receiver Kadarius Toney, the New York Giants’ first-round selection in this year’s NFL draft, is back out on the playing field and ‘ramping up’ after coming off the COVID-19 list last week.

On Tuesday, Toney participated in one-on-one drills as well as special teams as a punt returner.

Like most players coming off the COVID-19 list, Toney was permitted to do certain drills but was not a full ‘go.’ Head coach Joe Judge explained the team’s process:

“First off, we definitely learned they’re not all the same. Everybody’s affected by this virus differently and exposure to it. So even if we learned last year that people were just close contacts, we have to take into account the time away from training that they’ve had, whether that’s five days, 10 days, two weeks, whatever it’s been in different measures. We have to take into account, one, they haven’t been training hard with us,” Judge told reporters on Tuesday.

“It’s just like any new player we get into our program. We’ve got to make sure that we don’t assume that they’re ready to go, put them out there. Normally the first day, the anxiety’s up, the urgency’s up, they get through practice, but it’s the second and third day when that toll becomes a factor right there. So they’re not all the same. We’ve got to consider each guy as an individual. Both guys will keep doing more than they’ve done in the past. We’ll start doing a little bit more with Toney football-wise today. He’ll be involved a little bit with some individuals, some group work as we phase them all through. We’ll kind of see where his body reacts today as we build him into team going through the week.”

“It’s good to see him out there,” quarterback Daniel Jones said. “We’ll keep working and talking and building that chemistry. He’s a talented guy and can make a lot of plays, so we’re excited to get him out there…I think you see his athleticism, his twitch, his quickness and that’s exciting.”

Toney was a standout at Florida that many scouts saw as a ‘gadget’ player. The Giants see Toney more as a weapon they can move around to exploit mismatches.

The Giants selected Toney with the 20th overall pick they received in their draft day trade with the Chicago Bears.

NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein described Toney as a “slot talent who competes like a player bigger than his listed size… has the ability to make instant cuts and break his routes off sharply. He could become a much more creative and consistent route runner in due time. He’s an atypical NFL slot in some ways and is likely to do his best work in a scheme that allows him plenty of run-after-catch opportunities. He’ll need more polish but should contribute right away as a receiver and punt returner.”


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