joe judge kadarius toney henry ruggs
Syndication: The Record

Giants wide receiver Kadarius Toney expressed his thoughts on the tragic Henry Ruggs car crash earlier this week.

By now, you’ve likely read, heard or at least heard about all the public details regarding the recent Henry Ruggs car crash.

On Tuesday morning, the now-former Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver allegedly was driving at 156 miles per hour while over double the legal limit (a reported BAC of .161, to be exact) right before he crashed into another vehicle. That other vehicle subsequently caught on fire and the 23-year-old woman, Tina Tintor, and her dog eventually passed away. Ruggs is now charged with DUI resulting in death and reckless driving and faces 20 years in prison.

Toney decided Wednesday to tweet his thoughts on the incident. You obviously can be the judge of what he said, but you must admit it doesn’t look great for the young Giant

Ahead of Thursday’s practice in preparation for a matchup against the Raiders, head coach Joe Judge said he addressed Kadarius and the team.

Ultimately, this story carries a lot more weight for various individuals.

“I have spoken to Kadarius, I’ve spoken with the entire team on this issue. The one thing that’s unique about this situation with Henry is the number of relationships he has throughout this league,” Judge told the media Thursday. “Whether you’re from the state of Alabama and you know him from high school and from competing against him, or you were a teammate of his at Alabama — a significant number of those guys are playing in the NFL. When I talked to my team about the situation, I’m literally looking at guys’ eyes that it’s not a headline to them. That this is a friend of theirs, this is a teammate of theirs, this is something different.

“The important thing is that we express that our prayers are with everyone involved with this…I’ve talked with Kadarius and it’s important that we understand how we articulate our words, how we put it out there. Ultimately our prayers are with everybody — this is a situation no one wants to see happen with anybody, no one wants to be in this situation. While no one is, in any way, shape, or form, dismissing consequences at all, it’s horrible on both sides. It’s absolutely horrible.”

However, this also makes you think of just how many negative situations Toney has already been a part of in his short time in the NFL.

There was the cryptic Instagram post after not earning much playing time in the first two regular-season games, the other Instagram post in which he called media members “clowns,” the ejection from the Week 5 loss to Dallas when he threw a punch at Cowboys safety Damontae Kazee, and now this.

Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News asked Judge if it’s “concerning” to him that Toney doesn’t understand the consequences of some of his words.

Judge, to say the least, has the back of his young first-round receiver.

“Kadarius is a very intelligent person. And every time we’ve had a talk, he’s fully understood that we’ve been in a good place with that,” Judge said. “In terms of what he tweeted out, I know where his heart was with that, I know it sometimes comes across that obviously you read it and you say ‘okay, this doesn’t really sound the right way,’ I think it’s more about how we articulate our words…in terms of [Kadarius’] growth — one thing I’ll tell you right now is that KT is a good kid. And I shouldn’t call him a kid, he’s not a kid. He’s a good dude, he really is. And he’s got a good heart, and this guy’s a hard worker and a team-first guy. Just from a personal standpoint, I’m glad everything I did when I was 21, 22, 23 isn’t fully documented. With that being said, we’ve got a group of guys in this generation who are in a position where everything they have, is. And they allow it to be documented in a lot of ways because we put it out there ourselves and we just got to make sure we keep doing a good job especially when it comes to social media, making sure we articulate our point the right way.”

“With Kadarius specifically, this guy’s a really, really good person. He really is,” he added. “He’s a good teammate, he’s very coachable, he’s got great intentions in the building with what he’s trying to do to help this team…I have no questions about this guy’s character…I’m really proud of the way this guy’s working on a daily basis to be the best he can be.”

I don’t always agree with everything Joe Judge says or does.

But I am all in on this response from the second-year head coach.

Judge, through it all, is staying by the 22-year-old receiver’s side and realizing the true person Toney is — that’s a leadership move.

Follow Ryan Honey on Twitter: @RyanHoneyESNY

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