Kadarius Toney Frustrated By Role With Giants: 'S--t Just Be Lame to Me'

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 17, 2021

New York Giants first-round draft pick Kadarius Toney catches a pass during NFL football rookie minicamp, Friday, May 14, 2021, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
AP Photo/Bill Kostroun

New York Giants wide receiver Kadarius Toney posted a cryptic message on Instagram after Thursday night's loss to the Washington Football Team.

Toney, a first-round pick in the 2021 NFL draft, failed to record a catch in the 30-29 loss and showed frustration after a midgame conversation with head coach Joe Judge on the sideline.

Zack Rosenblatt of NJ.com captured the Instagram story:

Zack Rosenblatt @ZackBlatt

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. <br><br>Nothing at a Golladay-Jones level, but clearly wasn’t happy. <a href="https://t.co/L29NEjdSI6">pic.twitter.com/L29NEjdSI6</a>

Toney was the top target in the University of Florida's passing game last year. He led the Gators in catches (70) and receiving yards (984) while scoring 10 touchdowns in 11 games to emerge as a coveted NFL prospect.

The 22-year-old Alabama native hasn't been able to make an immediate impact for the Giants, though. He made two catches for negative-two yards in their season-opening loss to the Denver Broncos and wasn't even targeted in Thursday's contest.

Part of the issue is New York's deep group of pass-catchers, led by fellow wideouts Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton and Kenny Golladay along with tight end Kyle Rudolph. Running back Saquon Barkley is also a factor in the aerial attack, and tight end Evan Engram may return from injury soon to give quarterback Daniel Jones another target.

So Toney is being forced earn playing time on a crowded depth chart, and it may take an injury or two for him to garner more consistent week-to-week involvement.

The 2020 first-team All-SEC selection didn't speak with reporters after Thursday's game, but he said before Week 1 he was willing to accept any role.

"I'm here to play. I'm here to do my job, so it's whatever they say," Toney told reporters after missing parts of training camp because of a hamstring injury and a reserve/COVID-19 list designation.

If the Giants continue to struggle, though, there may be a point where it becomes beneficial to get Toney on the field more to see what he can produce.

"No use in having a sports car and not driving it," a source told Rosenblatt about the rookie receiver.

The 0-2 Giants return to action Sept. 26 when they host the Atlanta Falcons in Week 3.