Imagine the excitement created at the trade deadline if the Giants picked up a receiver who once led the NFL in touchdown catches.
Well, isn’t that kind of what happened this week? The Giants did not deal for any reinforcements, but added a key piece Thursday when receiver Kenny Golladay returned to individual drills, a significant step toward playing Sunday against the Raiders. He was part of Wednesday’s private walk-through, too.
The first half of Golladay’s first season with the Giants basically went for naught as he battled injuries to his hamstring, hip and knee that caused him to miss most of training camp and the past three games. Is it time to call it a wash and turn the page to his fully healthy potential next year?
“I would say absolutely not,” offensive coordinator Jason Garrett said. “Kenny has dealt with some injuries, but his approach has been outstanding. He’s been a damn good player when he’s been healthy for us. We expect that again this year.”
Golladay has 17 catches for 282 yards and is awaiting his first touchdown, after scoring just two in an injury-shortened season for the Lions in 2020. The Giants signed Golladay to a four-year, $72 million contract looking for a repeat of his NFL-best 11 touchdown catches in 2019.
Golladay was coming off his best game (116 yards against the Saints) when he injured his knee Oct. 10 against the Cowboys.
“He just has to take it day by day and get himself back and ready to go,” Garrett said. “Once he does, he’ll be a big part of what we do.”
TE Kyle Rudolph (personal reasons) and practice squad OT Isaiah Wilson (illness) were not at practice, but are not in the COVID-19 protocol after the rash of false-positive test results in the building.
LB Lorenzo Carter (ankle), DB Nate Ebner (ankle), WR Dante Pettis (shoulder) and WR Sterling Shepard (quad) did not practice. Three receivers — the upgraded Golladay, the downgraded John Ross (quad) and Kadarius Toney (thumb) were limited participants, along with TE Kaden Smith.
LB Benardrick McKinney was activated as a COVID-19 roster replacement. He played in the past two games as a practice squad call-up. DB Steven Parker, who made his Giants debut Monday and was waived Tuesday, re-signed to the practice squad.
Joe Judge’s staff is rarely critical even when mistakes are obvious, like a few against the Chiefs.
But here was Garrett on Shepard’s 2-yard route on a third-and-4 at the 7-yard line, forcing the Giants to settle for a field goal: “Sterling will be the first one to tell you that he probably needs to push the depth a little bit more. We felt like we had a good look there, that route was going to give us first-down depth.”
And special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey said of Riley Dixon’s shanked 34-yard punt in the fourth quarter that set up Kansas City’s winning drive: “He’ll tell you just like everybody else will tell you: It just wasn’t a good punt by him.”
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