With the New York Giants losing Golden Tate for the first four games of the regular season due to a violation against the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy, several other past catchers will earn the opportunity to fight for a roster spot.
Tate is an automatic starter, but behind him and Sterling Shepard, the competition is wide open. Receivers such as Cody Latimer, TJ Jones, Brittan Golden, Bennie Fowler, Russell Shepard, and Alonzo Russell are all fighting for a starting spot.
At this point, Latimer seems to be in the lead for the number three spot on the wide receiver corps, but Jones is making a significant impact.
Better receivers have kept Jones in the shadows over the last few seasons. The emergence of Kenny Golladay with the Detroit Lions pushed Jones down the depth chart, but he has plenty of talent and effectiveness to offer another team. The Giants will need his services this year after injuries to Corey Coleman and a suspension to Golden Tate.
What are the New York Giants getting in TJ Jones?
Last season, TJ played in 15 games hauling in 19 receptions for 190 yards and two touchdowns. He had a catch rate of 73.1%, which attests to his trustworthy hands. For the Giants this preseason, he has looked sharp. In the first preseason game against the New York Jets, he led the Giants in both receptions (6) and yards (72) and caught a 31-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Lauletta on the back shoulder.
TJ Jones lookin' like Victor Cruz out there 😏
— Giants Videos (@SNYGiants) August 9, 2019
His decisiveness and dynamic play style make him a threat as a wide-out and in the slot. The Giants can move him all around the offense and utilize him in different ways to keep the defense honest.
Jones seems to have a chip on his shoulder and sees the opportunity with this struggling wide receiver group. He has left his mark thus far and will earn another chance against the Chicago Bears on Friday night to prove that he can be an impact player during the regular season.
“We signed him because we liked him,” Shurmur said. “We felt like he was a guy that could come in, compete, and make our team, regardless of who we had on the roster. It was more of replacing Corey at that time. When you have a player that’s going to miss a month, then it kind of elevates the guys behind him. One of those guys may be a guy that’s here for a month until Golden gets back.”