kadarius toney giants
Syndication: The Record

Giants fans could see rookie wideout Kadarius Toney take the field in a pro-level game for the first time this Sunday afternoon.

Kadarius Toney has yet to hit an NFL game field.

After stumbling upon COVID-19 and a subsequent hamstring injury, the Giants‘ first-round draft pick didn’t partake in any of New York’s three preseason matchups. He also participated in a weird ramp-up period during much of training camp as part of a bizarre start to his pro career.

But per Michael Eisen of Giants.com, Toney doesn’t see any reason for a possible absence this Sunday against the Broncos.

“Unless you want to go make one up,” he says.

In the event Toney is active, would the coaching staff throw him into the starting lineup alongside top wideout and $72 million free-agent pickup Kenny Golladay?

The answer, most likely, is no — veteran Sterling Shepard has undergone a great camp/preseason and deserves to retain his role as a starting component of this unit.

The Giants must ease Toney into the offensive system considering the trio of preseason absences, but that doesn’t mean Jason Garrett won’t absolutely utilize him when he can.

Toney could additionally locate reps on special teams, and on the unofficial Week 1 depth chart, is listed as a reserve punt and kick returner.

“I’d say in terms of significant, I look at that not so much as volume, but production. I’d say it is realistic for him to have a significant role [against Denver] based on how he practices this week,” Joe Judge said before Wednesday’s practice, in which Toney was a limited participant. “We’re seeing his health improve, we’ve seen him do a lot of things with the team as we’ve kept on moving. He’s handled the installs very well. I’d say for a player who hasn’t seen obviously preseason games or a lot of significant time volume-wise on the field with the guys through preseason, he’s been able to go out there and manage it and execute in practice what we’ve asked him to.”

It won’t be a simple task right off the bat for Toney and this offense, who are going up against a defensive unit led by the talented Von Miller and Bradley Chubb. The Denver secondary was also in the top half of the league last year in terms of average passing yards allowed.

A failure by the Big Blue offensive line to keep Daniel Jones upright could lead to Toney becoming obsolete in this game — obviously fans hope this doesn’t occur during what may be the first of many big performances for the rookie.

The Giants and Broncos kick off at 4:25 p.m. ET at MetLife Stadium.