TJ Jones’ first touchdown as a Giant happened so fast, he wasn’t even sure it happened.
Jones, who was re-signed last week, provided one of the few bright spots for the Giants in their 28-14 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, catching a 4-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning in the fourth quarter.
Jones caught the ball as he was falling out of the back of the end zone, and he wasn’t quite sure when he tapped his feet if he had stepped out of bounds.
“When my feet tapped, I looked down and saw I was close. I didn’t know whether to celebrate,” the wide receiver said. “The ref was kind of slow. He was like looking at the other guy. I’m like, ‘Did I score?’ He was like, ‘You scored.’ ”
Jones said he doesn’t remember much after that.
“I like blacked out a little bit. I was just excited to get the first touchdown of the year out of the way. So when I did, I was speechless,” he said. “It was probably the prettiest touchdown I ever had.”
It certainly was the prettiest moment in a very ugly afternoon for the Giants.
Jones provided another big play late in the second quarter when he returned a punt 60 yards. The Giants, however, failed to capitalize on it because Manning was intercepted two plays later.
“He did a great job,” coach Pat Shurmur said of Jones. “He caught the touchdown pass, he had the long punt return . . . For being here for just a couple of days, he did a very nice job.”
Jones, a sixth-round draft pick by Detroit out of Notre Dame in 2014, played for four seasons with the Lions. His best season was 2017, when he caught 30 passes for 399 yards and one touchdown.
Jones had an impressive preseason and was one of the Gians’ last cuts. After losing Sterling Shepard to a concussion in Week 1 against Dallas, they decided to bring Jones back.
He spent the 10 days between getting cut and returning in Atlanta with his family.
“I was working out at home, but it’s hard to simulate shoulder pads and running with somebody pushing you or trying to get in your way,” he said. “It felt great to get the first one in the regular season out of the way. It felt great to come back from being at home the last 10 days. Happy to be back.
“This is the place I wanted to come back to.”