The rookie Giants wide receiver made headlines over the past week with a number of his Instagram posts.
The Giants have seldom used first-round wide receiver Kadarius Toney thus far. Through the first two games, the No. 20 overall draft pick totaled just 24 offensive snaps, including only five in the Week 1 loss to Denver.
Toney then posted what seemed to be a cryptic message to Instagram following the Week 2 loss to Washington and also called the media “clowns” in another post.
Kadarius Toney posted this to Instagram. He was visibly upset at one point on the sideline in the second half after speaking with Joe Judge.
Nothing at a Golladay-Jones level, but clearly wasn’t happy. pic.twitter.com/L29NEjdSI6
— Zack Rosenblatt (@ZackBlatt) September 17, 2021
— Pat Leonard (@PLeonardNYDN) September 18, 2021
On Thursday, Toney spoke about the posts when meeting with reporters.
“Before I get started, I want to address the elephant in the room with social media,” he said, per Giants.com. “I know a lot of stuff was misinterpreted by me talking about the Giants or whatever. It had nothing to do with the Giants. [I’m] just focused on [getting] ready to play against the Falcons. I know a lot of people saw what I posted, like media-wise, me saying the media this and that. That’s not meant for everybody. The ones, they specifically know who I’m talking about because of the story that they want to make, want to create, stuff like that, they know exactly who I’m talking about. I apologize to the rest of you all who do a great job in what you all do. I’m going to leave it at that.”
Toney didn’t entirely reveal why he posted the first message but did note it was regarding a “personal matter.”
The former Florida Gator employs the tools to be an exciting, dynamic receiver in this league and one the Giants could significantly rely on each and every week. The coaching staff, however, has yet to maximize his skill set. Toney has caught just two balls on as many targets for negative-two yards.
One person that has a big say in his role is Jason Garrett. The offensive coordinator spoke on the young wideout Thursday and believes he must gain more experience before ultimately assuming more time on the game field.
“Kadarius hasn’t played a lot of football for us, yet. He missed the spring. He missed most of training camp. He practiced about three days before the season started, so he’s a young player who’s learning,” Garrett told the media Thursday. “Receivers, it takes them a little time to transition into the NFL. We all know that. I would say, in general, college receivers when they’re coming into the NFL, there’s a whole repertoire of routes that they haven’t been exposed to, so he’s in that process. It’s not unique to him or to us, that’s just the nature of things. The biggest thing with him is practicing day in and day out and developing some consistency. No fault of his, he’s just been hurt and been sick and has been dealing with some different things. He’s done a good job here lately continuing to work in practice. He’s continued to develop the trust that coaches and quarterbacks have in him and just continue to grow. You said it, he played some more snaps in the game the other day. He did a good job with his work. He just has to keep doing that.”
Toney did undergo a bizarre start to his career even before his lack of playing time in the regular season. He experienced a stint on the Reserve/COVID-19 list during the summer and suffered a hamstring injury that kept him out of all three preseason games.
The health-related issues led to a weird and lengthy ramp-up period for the first-year player, so he must remain healthy and continue to gain notable experience on the practice field in order to be that dynamic weapon the Giants drafted him to be.
Toney and the Giants, on Sunday, face a weak Atlanta team that’s allowed 80 combined points through two games. Maybe this is the matchup in which the team feels comfortable enough to utilize Kadarius a notable amount?
Follow Ryan Honey on Twitter: @RyanHoneyESNY