The Daniel Jones Era is off to as good of a start as the New York Giants could have hoped at 2-0, and now he’s getting a big weapon back.
After serving a four-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing substance policy, wide receiver Golden Tate is set to return for the team’s Week 5 game against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
“I just want to come in and be a spark, an addition to what we’re doing, just help everybody around me get better and just be myself,” Tate said, via Giants.com. “There is no secret that in the slot I’m pretty dangerous once I get the ball in my hands. I feel like I’m pretty dangerous on third down. Hopefully, I am utilized that way. Whatever it takes to win.”
After signing a four-year, $37.5 million deal this offseason, Tate was expected to be Eli Manning’s top receiver. Now he’ll likely still be the top pass-catcher on the Giants, but he’ll have a new quarterback feeding him the ball.
Daniel Jones and Golden Tate won’t be a new pairing
Although Tate may have expected to work with Manning, the Giants were smart enough to allow him to work with Jones during the preseason. When Manning sat out the final game against the New England Patriots, Jones completed two passes for 37 yards to Tate on the opening drive.
“I’m liking what I’m seeing, for sure,” Tate said of Jones. “He’s been handling the moment very well and hopefully he continues to improve each day and each game.
“He’s slippery. He finds his way out of some sticky situations and makes plays. Obviously, he’s helped us win. Watching from afar, his decision-making has been great, I think. I’m here to help him, helping his development, help make some plays and take some pressure off of him and just help us continue to win.”
In the first four games of the regular season, tight end Evan Engram has evolved into one of the league's top players at his position, but the rest of the receiving corps has been disappointing. Sterling Shepard has 20 receptions for 218 yards, but no other receiver has topped 105 yards.
Now Jones could see his play-calling options widen with one of the top slot receivers in the league by his side. Tate leads the league in yards after the catch since 2010 thanks to game-breaking speed and elusiveness.
“I’m excited to have Golden back,” Jones said. “Looking forward to it, and looking forward to what we can do.”
Tate ready to hit the ground running
Tate practiced with the Giants all summer but has not been allowed to be with the team during his regular season suspension. That has meant watching Giants games on TV from his West Coast home and trying to keep up to speed from afar.
“I have trainers, massage therapists, and rehab people there,” Tate said. “I just went back home and worked my tail off, tried to stay ready and get better and hang with the family. I tried to keep myself busy just to take my mind off of it.”
Tate has big shoes to fill as he effectively replaces the since-traded Odell Beckham Jr., but first he’s just ready to prove that he’s in game-shape. With a few less hits taken compared to the rest of the offense, perhaps he can be the spark the team needs to continue a playoff run.
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