Kenny Golladay: Overpaid, unreliable, seemingly unhappy, and can’t stay healthy.
Kadarius Toney: Injury-prone and a total mystery since entering the league.
Sterling Shepard: Out for the year with a torn ACL.
Wan’Dale Robinson: Hasn’t played since Week 1 with a knee injury.
The Giants’ receiver room is a disaster, and the team has needed to at least try to get Darius Slayton involved for weeks. Big Blue finally did on Sunday in a win over the Packers. Former Giants running back and current WFAN Sports Radio host Tiki Barber thinks we could see more of Slayton when the Ravens come to town this Sunday. Here’s what he said on WFAN’s “Tiki and Tierney” show:
Darius Slayton couldn’t find the field in the preseason. They get some injuries [to Toney, Golladay, and Robinson]…and you need that third wide receiver because obviously Richie James and David Sills are the two that have been penciled in as starters. Darius Slayton…he’s a separator. And he’s got this burst of speed that’s kind of deceptive, which allows him to run crisp routes and he’s open. And I think, more importantly, Daniel Jones trusts him.
Baltimore can [be beaten through the air]. They are one of the worst teams in pass defense in the NFL right now. The only way I think this Giants team, especially if [Ravens quarterback] Lamar [Jackson] goes buck wild, can win…they’re going to have to try to score. So Darius Slayton might be the X-Factor. And if he can be a big-game player, and [running back] Saquon [Barkley] can be a big-run player, then they have a chance.
Even with dominoes falling in the Giants’ receiver room on a weekly basis, Slayton didn’t significantly produce until Sunday’s victory. After he was a healthy scratch in Week 1 and then played just four and 14 offensive snaps in Weeks 2 and 3, respectively, Slayton was on the field for 39 reps against Chicago in Week 4 and then 33 against Green Bay. In Sunday’s win, Slayton led New York with six catches and 79 yards. It was his highest reception total since Week 5 of the 2020 season and his highest receiving-yard total since Week 10 of that same year.
If Golladay, Toney, Robinson, and Shepard can’t stay healthy to assist Jones, then Slayton will need to answer the call, which he did in London this past weekend.
Tiki is also absolutely correct when bringing up the trust factor between Slayton and Jones. If there’s any consistent quarterback-receiver connection Jones has had since entering the league in 2019, it’s the one he had with Slayton from their rookie seasons until early 2020.
Moves made at the position (the signing of Golladay and drafting of both Toney and Robinson) have buried Slayton on the depth chart since 2021. But the young wideout now has an opportunity to show he can produce in head coach Brian Daboll’s offense.