The good news, Kenny Golladay will make his New York Giants debut in Week 1 against the Denver Broncos. The bad news, a hamstring injury sustained on August third stripped the offense of their perceived No. 1 wideout for the entire preseason and a hefty chunk of training camp.
No preseason snaps may not sound like much of a hindrance to a former Pro Bowler just one season removed from leading the league in receiving touchdowns. However, the lack of practice time in a new system and catching passes from a new quarterback have Golladay behind the eight-ball. The big-ticket free agent admitted this much while speaking with reporters following the team’s final practice ahead of Sunday’s tilt with the Broncos.
“Rusty for sure,” Golladay admitted to reporters when detailing his connection with Jones.
“At the same time I’ve been playing football for quite some time [and] so has he,” Golladay noted. “Like I’ve been saying, it’s about repetitions in between while the defense is going, while the special teams is going, after practice. All of that plays a big role in this.”
The Illinois native also warned Giants fans of the possibility that the team’s offense may not come out the gates at full throttle to begin the season.
“I’m excited when I look in the huddle and see all those guys, it’s very exciting. But people have been in and out of the lineup, so we’re gonna be a little probably slow to get off,” Golladay said via New York Daily News. “But we’ve got some workers on this team. And I feel like if we put the work in, we can be really special.”
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Golladay Talks Health
Despite Golladay trending up in recent weeks, the 27-year-old had previously been cautious about committing to his availability for the opener, noting that hamstring injuries are “tricky.”
Thankfully, the big-bodied receiver is singing a far more optimistic tune as we approach kickoff.
“I’m excited. Hopefully, all goes as planned. I can’t wait to be out there Sunday around four o’clock,” Golladay said. “I’m feeling a lot better. I’m able to pretty much do everything and didn’t have too much to think to about. I wasn’t feeling sore afterwards. That’s the biggest thing really. It’s more so just going out there and being confident in the hamstring. I’ve had a couple and they’re tricky, so once I was able to go out there and not think about it, then I could play like myself.”
The Giants handed Golladay $40 million guaranteed this offseason, a move that headlined a revamping of the team’s receiving corps. Unfortunately, the majority of the moves have been overshadowed by injuries.
While Golladay will be good to go on Sunday, fellow free-agent signee John Ross will begin his 2021 campaign on injured reserve with a hamstring injury. Veteran Kyle Rudolph missed the majority of camp as he worked his way back from offseason foot surgery. Starting tight end Evan Engram has once again been bitten by the injury bug and has been ruled out for Week 1. As for the first-round pick Kadarius Toney, he’s been the biggest question mark of the bunch, putting forth one of the more peculiar summers by a rookie in recent memory.
Fortunately, it looks as if the electric playmaker has turned the corner and could be headed for a sizeable workload in his NFL debut.
Kadarius Toney Could Have ‘Significant Role’
Despite being limited in camp, and not seeing the field in preseason, head coach Joe Judge told reporters that Toney’s work ethic off the field could allow him to handle a “significant role” vs. Denver.
“Well, I’d say in terms of significant, I look at that not so much as volume, but production. I’d say it is realistic for him to have a significant role based on how he practices this week,” Judge said. “We’re seeing his health improve, we’ve seen him do a lot of things with the team as we’ve kept on moving. He’s handled the installs very well. I’d say for a player who hasn’t seen obviously pre-season games or a lot of significant time volume wise on the field with the guys through preseason, he’s been able to go out there and manage it and execute in practice what we’ve asked him to.”
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