Giants would 'absolutely' use Kadarius Toney as punt returner

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Kadarius Toney close up white jersey
Kadarius Toney close up white jersey

The Giants are hoping that some of their injured offensive weapons can make it back on the field against the Kansas City Chiefs, including rookie WR Kadarius Toney who has been dealing with an ankle injury.

And special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey said something very interesting about Toney in terms of how he could use him if he suits up.

With Jabrill Peppers lost for the rest of the season due to an ACL injury and high-ankle sprain, the Giants need a new punt returner. And McGaughey said he'd "absolutely" use Toney in that role if he could.

Considering Peppers suffered his injury on a punt return against the Carolina Panthers this past week, you'd understand why fans and others might question that decision. But McGaughey added you can't treat football players like that are "made of glass."

While this may be true -- football players know the risk they sign up for each week -- the Giants have been mauled by injury in this first half of the season and can't afford to lose another player long-term if they wish to salvage the season in some respect.

Toney has proven he's one of the most athletic and shifty players in the league in just a short time, forcing defenders to miss tackles and picking up chunk yardage when it doesn't even look possible. If the Giants wish to have something like that on offense each week, does having him run back punts make sense considering the risk for injury only increases in those moments?

During training camp, and during his college days, Toney was running back punts and that elusive ability makes him a perfect candidate to do so. But Toney would be coming off an injury and the Giants surely want to get him back into a rhythm after his breakout 189-yard game against the Dallas Cowboys.

We'll see if that means putting No. 89 back deep to return punts, too.