While Beckham's tricky hamstring relegated him to watching the entire preseason (and first quarter of the regular season) from the sidelines, Washington was electrifying Giant fans with his late-game heroics.
During the preseason, Washington caught 10 passes for 155 yards and four touchdowns en route to being named NFL.com's "Preseason MVP". The Giants got caught up in the frenzy and the 6'4", 215lb, 23 year-old out of nowhere was placed on the team's final roster.
The Giants had struck gold with UDFA receivers in the past, most notably Victor Cruz, and Giant fans were expecting Cruz-like results from Washington right out of the gate. It hasn't happened.
Head coach Tom Coughlin is reluctant to thrust green rookies into the lineup, and no rookie is greener than Washington. He has been used sporadically on offense during the season late in games, but he's been basically assigned to the special teams thus far.
Washington is buried behind Beckham, Rueben Randle and Preston Parker on the depth chart. There really isn't any room for him in the offense right now. Coughlin was asked what Washington has to do to get more snaps during games.
"Do a better job on the practice field. Do a better job all around," said Coughlin at his Wednesday presser. "My standard operating procedure is I like to have the fourth and the fifth receivers be outstanding contributors on special teams. We’re not there right now. That would help a lot. Corey can be and has been on our punt return and our kickoff return team. I’d like to see him improve in that area as well."
Coughlin sloughed off the notion that Washington (5 rec, 52 yards, 1 TD) has not played because he has not grasped the offense.
"No," the coach replied. "He does a good job. He can play multiple positions from the standpoint of knowing what to do. He’s done that from day one. He does have to, obviously, become better at his job."
With Beckham hogging up the majority of the targets and Randle and Parker locked in as the No. 2 and 3 wideouts, it will be awhile before Washington gets any substantial playing time on the offense. Next year, he'll have to prove himself all over again as Cruz should be factored back into the equation.