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New York Giants spring: Red jerseys are red flag for WRs, but Saquon Barkley shines – NFL Nation

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants’ offense trotted onto the sector for the primary play of 11-on-11 drills at necessary minicamp final week. Flanking quarterback Daniel Jones have been vast receivers C.J. Board and David Sills V. Richie James was within the slot.

Running again Saquon Barkley was within the backfield, but the projected prime three receivers — Kadarius Toney and Kenny Golladay (unspecified accidents) and Sterling Shepard (Achilles restoration) — have been in red non-contact jerseys. And receiver Darius Slayton, working with the second-crew offense, dropped a possible lengthy landing for the second time in two weeks as his spring struggles continued.

The extra issues change for the Giants, who’ve a brand new head coach (Brian Daboll) and common supervisor (Joe Schoen), the extra they keep the identical. Every Giants starter on the offensive talent positions missed a minimum of two video games due to harm final season, and this spring hasn’t offered a lot reassurance issues will change.

“You would love for everybody to be out here, particularly the skill guys to get reps with the quarterback, but that doesn’t happen usually in most places,” Daboll mentioned. “There is always some guy dinged up or you’re giving them an off day. We’ll get plenty in the summer here.”

Toney, Golladay and Shepard have been in attendance doing what they might throughout a lot of the voluntary offseason program. They have been capable of be taught a lot of the offense even when they did not run any routes for Jones.

“They’ve thrown with Daniel before. They’ve done a good job,” Daboll mentioned. “Again, you can learn different ways, and we’re just teaching them how we got to teach them right now.”

Veterans lacking spring reps could be dismissed in lots of circumstances, but all three of New York’s prime three receivers match the harm-susceptible label.

Toney, picked No. 20 total within the 2021 NFL draft, handled varied accidents as a rookie — hamstring, ankle, quad and indirect amongst them. He additionally missed time due to constructive COVID-19 checks and sick-becoming cleats. He appeared in 10 video games, ending with 39 catches and no touchdowns.

Golladay, who signed a 4-12 months deal for $72 million final offseason, additionally was hampered by accidents (hip, hamstring and knee) that restricted him to 37 receptions and no touchdowns final 12 months. He has performed 19 video games over the previous two seasons, totaling 57 catches for 859 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

Shepard, who ruptured his left Achilles late final season, has performed in 16 video games as soon as previously 5 years.

Daboll has mentioned on a number of events he expects all three to be prepared for coaching camp subsequent month, and Golladay participated in some drills throughout minicamp, so there’s optimism for a bunch that struggled badly final season.

“There’s a time to be smart and there’s a time to make sure you’re pushing through things the best you can. You have to balance those,” Daboll mentioned. “You push guys through in training camp — maybe it’s the same exact thing and they don’t have a red jersey on. … All we’re trying to do is try to be as healthy as we can be when training camp gets here.”

Jones had his ups and downs at OTAs and minicamp whereas typically surrounded by reserves. If that sounds acquainted, it ought to. It continues a development of Jones coping with tough circumstances, one thing the Giants have been desperately attempting to cease.

Part of the contingency plan at receiver is rookie Wan’Dale Robinson, drafted within the second spherical this 12 months. He had a robust spring that included a diving seize on a deep go from Jones over cornerback Aaron Robinson at the back of the tip zone throughout OTAs.

“He’s quick, he’s fast, he’s explosive,” Slayton mentioned of the rookie. “I would say he is as advertised.”

Slayton, within the ultimate 12 months of his rookie contract, had 26 catches final season and led New York’s vast receivers with two landing receptions. He was curiously working behind the likes of Sills and Travis Toivonen at instances this spring. It does not bode properly for his future underneath the brand new regime.

However, Barkley, one other playmaker who had a disappointing 2021 season impacted by accidents (torn ACL in his proper knee), was maybe the most important standout of the spring. It seems he is perhaps used extra as a receiver within the scheme run by Daboll and offensive coordinator Mike Kafka.

Barkley was used everywhere in the discipline — out vast, within the slot, in movement, out of the backfield — all through OTAs and minicamp.

“It’s helpful, not only for myself but opening up other things for the offense,” he mentioned. “[I] haven’t really moved like this since college. Kind of went back and watched a little bit of my college stuff to see stuff that I was able to do there and transition.”

The No. 2 total choose from 2018 appears to be like wholesome and explosive after lacking a minimum of three video games in every of the previous three seasons.

“He’s frickin’ huge. He’s over here squatting what linemen are squatting, and one day he was yelling about [Cleveland Browns running back] Nick Chubb putting his squat video up. He’s like, ‘I got to beat that [675 pounds],'” middle Jon Feliciano mentioned of Barkley. “It’s good to see … him having the motivation, him not staying stagnant and being a great player that he is.”

If the spring foreshadows something in regards to the coming season, it could possibly be a giant one for Barkley. The future is cloudier for the Giants’ different playmakers.

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