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5 ‘things I think’ after the Giants lose preseason opener to Jets

Kadarius Toney, and much more

New York Jets v New York Giants
Rodarius Williams after recovering a fumble.
Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The final score — New York Jets 12, New York Giants 7 — is completely unimportant. Let’s talk about some of the things that I think might be important following Saturday’s preseason opener.

Kadarius, oh, Kadarius

So, the first ‘thing I think’ is about a guy who didn’t even play in the game. Joe Judge wouldn’t disclose what injury Kadarius Toney has been dealing with, only saying on Saturday night that he has had the injury “for a little bit” and aggravated it this week in practice.

Toney’s incredibly light practice workload since returning from the Reserve/COVID-19 list now makes sense.

Sadly, this is yet another development that makes me wonder how much the Giants are going to get from their first-round pick as a rookie.

David Sills needs to make the roster

Sills had three catches for 49 yards, including a beautiful 37-yarder. He drew a pass interference call inside the Jets’ 10-yard line. He nearly had another long reception, only to have former Giants cornerback Corey Ballentine break up the play.

Sills has been impressive in back-to-back camps. His time might be now. If he can stay healthy this time around.

Offensive line thoughts

Kenny Wiggins deserves some credit for playing virtually the entire game due to an injury to Kyle Murphy and the fact that Shane Lemieux is still working back from his knee injury. Unfortunately, the veteran guard did not play well at all. His pass protection was spotty and he nearly got Alfred Morris destroyed when he missed a run block in the third quarter.

Murphy’s injury was a bummer for the young man. He missed an opportunity to play a significant number of reps and make a real bid for a roster spot.

The reserve offensive line — LT Jackson Barton, LG Murphy/Wiggins, C Brett Heggie, RG Jake Burton, RT Chad Slade — didn’t play badly. Burton, an undrafted free agent transitioning inside from tackle, had some noticeably good reps.

The starting offensive line played three drives, lasting into the second quarter. Wiggins struggled and right tackle Matt Peart was beaten badly for a sack on the Giants’ first possession. A quiet night for left tackle Andrew Thomas.

Adventures of Rodarius Williams

The sixth-round pick, a cornerback, has had a terrific training camp. He had an up and down first game. I’m not sure how many times he was targeted, but the reason he led the Giants with eight tackles is that the ball kept being thrown — and completed — in his direction. Williams was also one of the guilty parties in letting Jets wide receiver Denzel Mims take a third-and-18 screen pass 20 yards.

Williams had a fumble recovery and nearly scored, except for being stopped inside the Jets’ 20-yard line by a combination of a whisper of a tackle from Jets quarterback James Morgan and the turf monster.

Sandro shines!

The Giants were backed up at their own 1-yard line in the fourth quarter when I jokingly turned to colleague Emory Hunt and said that running back Sandro Platzgummer, in his second year as part of the International Player Pathway Program, was about to go 99 yards.

Well, he didn’t quite manage that. Platzgummer, though, took a handoff from Clayton Thorson and went 48 yards. Whether he ever actually plays in an NFL regular-season game or not, Platzgummer will have that memory. He led the Giants with 51 yards on four carries.