Kadarius Toney’s hamstring (and ankle and anything else he has managed to injure during his professional career) held up enough for him to make a pair of game-changing plays in Super Bowl LVII.
The Giants exile’s fourth-quarter touchdown grab gave the Chiefs their first lead of the game. He then broke a 65-yard punt return — a Super Bowl record — to set up Kansas City’s final touchdown in its eventual 38-35 comeback win over the Eagles.
Toney’s performance has caused plenty of hand-wringing in the metropolitan area. Especially because Giants general manager Joe Schoen still enjoys an air of infallibility after a stunningly successful first season. Did the Giants make a colossal mistake? Will they regret giving up on Toney? Is this Dave Gettleman’s last laugh? A cruel “Jok,” you say?
Calm down. There is no reason to second guess. The Giants made the right decision then. And it would be the right decision now if they had to do it again. Why? Start with a number — 11. That is the percentage of offensive snaps Toney played in the Super Bowl. Here’s another: Seven, the percentage of special teams snaps he played.
Toney is a part-time gadget guy. He plays a role that is well below his ability level because he cannot be depended on physically. And he is not terribly reliable in any other department. The Super Bowl was a reminder of his sensational talent. But the Giants knew he possessed that. This was not a case of bad evaluation. It was one of sober reality. Toney was a malcontent who could not stay healthy. And while he has found more success in Kansas City, he has yet to sustain it there.
Those who argue the Giants desperately need Toney’s playmaking ability at wide receiver are undoubtedly correct. But we would counter they could not afford to waste any more energy and time hoping he would harness it. Because it became quite obvious he would not be capable — at least as a Giant. The right move was made. Back after this.
James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @jameskratch.