Kenny Golladay had his best practice of training camp by far on Wednesday, highlighted by a leaping contested catch down the right sideline over Adoree Jackson to kick start a Daniel Jones touchdown drive.
Jones went 6-for-6 on that scoring drive, including two completions to Golladay, one each to Wan’Dale Robinson, Andre Miller and David Sills, and a swing pass TD to Saquon Barkley.
Golladay, 28, who scored zero TDs in his first Giants season, knows he has something to prove. He carries a $21.1 million cap hit now in 2022. He’d been underwhelming this training camp, but Wednesday was a good step.
Interestingly, Golladay turned in his best practice after receiving a rest day on Tuesday as part of the Giants’ plan to manage his body.
“I would say [I have] a chip on the shoulder,” Golladay said Monday. “[But] I’m not really trying to prove anything to … anyone really. It’s all about self-motivating and just being in competition with myself to be honest. Just going out there and doing what I know I’m capable of doing.”
The Giants are obviously being extra attentive to both Golladay and Kadarius Toney, physically and mentally, to prepare them for this season.
At one early point of every practice, Golladay and Toney split from the rest of the receivers and skill players to receive individualized coaching from receivers coach Mike Groh and offensive assistant Cade Knox.
Groh and Knox frequently appear to be going over scripts, plays or routes with Toney and Golladay. If they do some work, it’s limited to light route-running or having a catch.
Toney, who had an offseason knee procedure, had his workload dialed back on Wednesday for a second time in seven practices. He sat the second half of the practice’s 11-on-11 work.
Golladay, who sat out most of the spring with an undisclosed injury, also is getting period rest as part of a managed workload.
This is an interesting balance, because Jones needs to play with these receivers to get on the same page in Brian Daboll’s offense. But the Giants also are clearly trying to get Golladay and Toney healthy – and prepared – for game days.
It bears watching as the preseason games approach, beginning with next Thursday’s trip to the New England Patriots in Foxboro.
TACKLE DEPTH TAKES ANOTHER HIT
Backup right tackle Matt Gono left the team, the Giants said Wednesday. He wasn’t at practice, and the club put him on the exempt/left squad list. It’s not clear if his departure is temporary or permanent.
This is the second backup tackle to disappear from the picture. Backup tackle Korey Cunningham, whom the team had re-signed this spring, was cut with a non-football injury that required surgery before camp, as well.
Rookie third-round pick Josh Ezeudu at the moment is the Giants’ top backup offensive lineman at both the guards and tackle spots.
First-round right tackle Evan Neal, meanwhile, has had a rough start to camp in pass protection with the starting five.
In Wednesday’s individual drills, edge Quincy Roche beat him inside with a spin move, and fellow rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux drew a holding penalty on Neal.
Conversely, left tackle Andrew Thomas has been solid. It’s been noteworthy how clean Jones’ pocket has looked from his left. Thibodeaux couldn’t get around Thomas in individuals, either.
BACK IN PADS
Daboll had his team in pads for the second time this camp on Wednesday, and for the first time there was some full contact tackling and hitting to simulate a real game, including 11-on-11 running plays … First-string center Jon Feliciano only lasted half of Wednesday’s practice. It was his first practice after missing four straight with an undisclosed ailment. Daboll had said before practice that “we’ll manage him.” But it remains to be seen what Feliciano does in the coming days. Jamil Douglas was the center for Jones’ big drive on Wednesday, getting his turn in the backup competition after Ben Bredeson’s solid work there Tuesday … Wide receiver Collin Johnson has had such a strong camp that Daboll gave him first-team reps during Jones’ TD drive, as well. Johnson made a one-handed catch on corner Michael Jacquet III during individuals that had some fans buzzing … A lot of completions have occurred in the direction of starting outside corner Aaron Robinson.
The Giants were missing Gono, RB Antonio Williams, TE Ricky Seals-Jones (fifth straight) and corner Rodarius Williams on Wednesday … The Giants are not practicing on Thursday. They’ll practice Friday night at MetLife Stadium.