He’s back! The New York Giants have announced that Saquon Barkley, who began training camp on the physically unable to perform/active list, has been activated. The star running back will return to practice on Monday, August 9th for the first time since suffering a torn ACL in Week 2 of last season. According to ESPN, Barkley is “expected to be on the field practicing with his teammates in a limited capacity.”
Joining Barkley in his return to the Quest Diagnostics Training Center will be outside linebacker Oshane Ximinies. The Queens native, who like Barkley, finished the 2020 NFL season on injured reserve (shoulder injury), will look to reclaim his starting gig opposite Lorenzo Carter this summer. With that said, he’ll have quite the battle on his hands, as he’ll need to fend off the rookie duo of Azeez Ojulari and Elerson Smith, as well as ex-Viking Ifeadi Odenigbo and former second-round pick Ryan Anderson for snaps on the edge.
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Barkley Continues to Make Strides
While the Giants have been adamant in their desire to take things slow with Barkley — and rightfully so — the 24-year-old former NFL Rookie of the Year has been making major strides in his rehab of late, as captured by ESPN’s Jordan Raanan:
“You know what, he’s making a lot of strides for us and I don’t want to go ahead and make any predictions or anything on Saquon, but I will say that this guy’s showing progress, tangible progress every day with our medical staff, with our strength staff,” Giants head coach Joe Judge recently said.
Will Barkley Be Ready for Week 1?
While Barkley continues to inch his way back to game action, his availability for the preseason remains a stretch, as does his participation in upcoming joint practices with the New England Patriots and Cleveland Browns.
“We’re going to have conversations on a daily basis about his rehab and conversations on a weekly basis at times on where we think he is coming up,” Judge noted. “In terms of the timetable, I say it all the time to you guys, I’m just being flat out honest, I’m not a doctor. When the medical team tells me a guy is good to go and to put him on the field, I know he’s good to go.”
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network recently floated a Week 3 return for Barkley as the worst-case scenario for the Giants, but added that “no one has completely ruled out Week 1, either.”
Though Barkley’s removal from the PUP list by no means guarantees his opening week availability, it certainly looks as if the former Pro Bowler is at least trending in that direction. The Giants kick off the 2021 regular season on September 12th against the Denver Broncos. That timeframe would check-in at approximately 11 months from when Barkley originally sustained his knee injury. In other words, it’s most definitely not out of the realm of possibility.
In 31 career games, the Penn State product has rushed for 2,344 yards and 17 touchdowns. The dual-threat back has also added another 1,219 yards and six more scores through the air on 149 receptions.
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