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Kadarius Toney “ready to play” after “frustrating” start to NFL career

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Mike Florio reveals the PFT Power Rankings heading into Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season and answers mailbag questions about his picks.

Giants wide receiver Kadarius Toney’s first months as an NFL player didn’t got as planned.

Toney was a first-round pick in April, but called his transition to the NFL “frustrating” on Wednesday. It has been complicated by foot issues in the spring, a positive COVID-19 test, and a hamstring injury that hampered him this summer. Toney didn’t play in the preseason and was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday, but called himself “ready to play” in the opener against the Broncos.

Giants head coach Joe Judge was asked how big a role was realistic for the rookie right out of the gate.

“I’d say in terms of significant, I look at that not so much as volume, but production,” Judge said, via Paul Schwartz of the New York Post. “I’d say it is realistic for him to have a significant role based on how he practices this week. 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 preseason 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.”

The Giants drafted Toney because they thought his presence will help boost quarterback Daniel Jones to a higher level in his third season. The preseason was never going to provide an answer about whether they were right and a couple of good plays in the opener would help Toney’s outlook go from frustrating to promising quickly.