Last week, New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley took part in his first practice from New York Giants training camp. After missing the first two days of practice due to an ankle injury, Barkley practiced with the team on Thursday. Although he was limited, he took part in the team’s first contact practice on Friday morning, which is where most players get their first taste of game-like conditions.
The New York Giants were hoping that the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, running back Saquon Barkley, would be ready for organized team activities (OTAs) when the voluntary offseason workouts (basically the equivalent of minicamp) began in early June. However, recent reports suggested that he might not be able to participate in OTAs, and the Giants may be forced to take the next step in his recovery process by shutting him down for the rest of the offseason.
The Giants are wasting no time getting Saquon Barkley back into the lineup after the rookie running back’s foot injury that’s kept him out of practice for the majority of the season. The team held him out of practice for the second consecutive day on Tuesday.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Saquon Barkley and Kenny Golladay of the New York Giants took part in a padded practice on Thursday, and Barkley seemed to take some contact without issue for the first time since tearing his ACL in his right knee 11 months ago.
According to coach Joe Judge, it was the next stage in Barkley’s development and a must before he plays in a game. The Giants kick off their season against the Denver Broncos on September 12th.
“We simply spoke to the guys and [they] gave me some nice shots,” Barkley said later. “But it’s all about route running and running routes to get me back into the swing of things, so I suppose you could say yeah [I took my first hit].”
“However, [Thursday] felt fantastic during practice and with the rest of the squad. That, I believe, was absolutely required. I’m just thankful to be out there and ready for the season.”
Next week, Barkley will have to go through another fully padded practice before doctors will most likely approve him. The Giants don’t have another practice until Monday.
According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Barkley is on the mend and has a good chance to start against Denver in Week 1. Although there is reason to be optimistic, the Giants have been cautious and may yet hold him back. It will be a team-driven choice in the end.
“Throughout this process, I’ve been a team player, listening to the doctors, coaches, and trainers, knowing that they are all looking out for my best interests,” Barkley stated. “I’m ready to do whatever they believe is best for myself and the team.”
On Aug. 9, Barkley was activated off the physically unable to perform list. Last week, he participated in live drills for the first time while wearing a red no-contact jersey during joint practices with the New England Patriots.
He took off the red jersey for the first time in live drills on Thursday. On the field, did he feel like his old self?
“I suppose.” I’m in excellent spirits. “I’m taking it day by day,” Barkley added. “I’m not even thinking about whether I look like my former self.” I’m a pretty self-assured gamer. I know that whenever I’m able to go back out there — whether it’s for one quarter, one play, or whatever the chance is — I’ll be able to go out there and be who I am and play like I do.
“‘Is that how it was before?’ I’m not focused on whether I’m making cutbacks right now. I’m concentrating on getting back into football condition, living in the present, enjoying it, and playing football once again.”
There isn’t a lot of time left. The Giants have only ten days and four workouts until they kick off their season. Only one person is anticipated to have complete pads. Barkley would be one step closer to being ready for Week 1 if he could go through that.
“Do I have a sense of being close? It’s been nearly 11 months since I last played football, so there’s clearly still some work to be done, to be put in, since I’ve just been practicing for two to three days “he said “That’s why I have to be a pro outside of football, as well as inside football, in order to prepare myself.”
Golladay is in the same boat. He returned for a situational/walk-through practice on Tuesday, and Thursday marked the first time Golladay has been on the field practicing in full-speed live drills since he went down hurt on Aug. 3. He also seemed to be moving freely and without restrictions, but he didn’t say whether or not his explosiveness had completely returned.
“I feel like I’m getting better every day,” Golladay remarked. “Right now, I’m just taking each day as it comes, trying to build good days on top of each other.”
For the most of the summer, the Giants were without most of their big offensive acquisitions. Kyle Rudolph (foot) and rookie wide out Kadarius Toney (COVID-19 and hamstring) are two more players who have just returned.
For Week 1, they all seem to be going in the correct way. They haven’t, however, reached any final checkpoints.
“It’s just day two for me, more like a day and a half,” Golladay said. “I have some free time. I’ll continue to work and hope for the best.”
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