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Kadarius Toney: Giants' most underutilized player

Kadarius Toney is a head-scratcher for New York Giants and NFL fans.

After being drafted 20th overall in the 2021 NFL draft, hype for Kadarius Toney was sky-high. The Giants needed a flashy wide receiver after Odell Beckham Jr. was traded from the team in 2018. The hope was that Toney would become that receiver the Giants sought.

Toney only hauled in a combined four receptions for 14 yards in the first two games of his rookie season. He improved by picking up six catches for 78 yards in his third game. When the Giants faced the Dallas Cowboys in Texas in Week 5, Giants fans finally saw Toney's true potential. 

With all the injuries for the Giants last season, Toney found his way into the top spot at the wide receiver position in that game in Dallas, catching passes from veteran quarterback Mike Glennon.

Toney showed off his elusiveness, flashiness, and ankle-breaking ability against the Cowboys. He exploded for ten receptions and a massive 189 yards and added a single carry for seven yards. His play in that game put the whole league on notice.

Unfortunately for Toney, injuries plagued the latter half of his first NFL season as he only played five games after his big Week 5 performance. Toney hauled in nineteen receptions in those five games for only 139 yards. 

Coming into 2022, Toney was a player with a chance of a breakout season. However, he did not play a single preseason game snap due to what was described as various "situations," with some of the situations being nagging injuries. Toney was active coming into the Giants' season opener against the Tennessee Titans. Toney played seven out of sixty snaps in the win for Big Blue but did rush the ball once for nineteen yards on an end-around in the backfield.

After the game against the Titans, Toney was asked about his lack of snaps, to which he responded, "At the end of the day, I did my job. I get paid to do one thing – do my job."

The Giants won their second game of the season in their home opener against the Carolina Panthers in Week 2. This time, Toney made two receptions that accumulated no yardage. He received two snaps in the first half and played twenty-eight total snaps.

Through the first two games he played, Toney received 12% and 38% of the offense's total snap share, respectively.

If his low playing time wasn't enough, Toney was diagnosed with a hamstring injury that knocked him out of the New York's Monday night showdown and subsequent loss against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 3 of this season. The injury came at a significant time for the Giants as seven-year wide receiver Sterling Shepherd went down and was declared out for the season with a torn ACL in the final minute of the game.

Going into the Giants' Week 5 matchup with the Green Packers in London, Head Coach Brian Daboll said that Toney was making progress as he works towards getting back to game action. 

The Giants are 3-1 this season, with Toney contributing very little. Toney's playing time for Big Blue when he returns from injury is yet to be seen. 

What has been seen, if not for short periods of time, for the wide receiver out of the University of Florida is his massive talent. It's up to the Giants whether or not they want to showcase Toney's elite skills.

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