New York Giants receiver Kadarius Toney's NFL career didn't exactly start as he had planned.
He spent the beginning part of training camp on the reserve/COVID-19 list after testing positive for the virus and then had to fight his way through the after effects, which saw him tweak a hamstring when his conditioning wasn't quite up to par following his bout with the virus.
Although he was among ten players listed as limited in Wednesday's practice for the Giants, Toney is itching to et out on the field and contribute in any way he can for his team.
"I’m here to play, I’m here to do my job, so it’s whatever they say," the Giants first-round draft pick said Wednesday after practice.
The Giants might have tipped their hand regarding plans for Toney when earlier this week, they moved receiver C.J. Board from the 53-man roster to the practice squad.
That move was significant because Board was listed on the team's unofficial depth chart as the kickoff returner, a role that it's believed Toney will assume this Sunday when the Giants host the Denver Broncos.
"Early on, I really just expect to really contribute as much as I can to the team," Toney said of any expectations of him. "There is not a really definite answer to that, I guess you could say. You’ve just got to go with the flow I guess, how everything goes so far."
Toney has been champing at the bit to get on the field and contribute. During his period of inactivity, he engaged with the fans in attendance during breaks in what he had to do, something he enjoyed doing.
But for as much as he enjoyed interacting with the fans, Toney yearns to be out there on the field interacting more with his teammates, involved in influencing the outcome of the games.
"I want to be out there producing on the field, not being on the sideline with fans," he said. "Not that I don’t like them, but it’s more of like this is my job. I come here to play football at the end of the day, so if I’m not doing that, I’m not really myself I feel like. I really lean on them to really give me an, ‘It’s okay,’ feeling."
Toney hopes to reward his growing Giants fan club with electrifying plays that he's been known to make dating back to his college days in Florida.
"I can impact (a game) in a lot of ways depending on what they exactly scheme up and do, but really just looking forward to going out there and just impacting as much as I can as soon as I can. I just want to win right now," he said.
"I feel pretty good as far as just depending on the coaches and what they have to offer and what they’ve got to critique for me every day. Just trying to get better at what I’m doing so far."
"I’m excited. I’m ready to play, really."