Back in late April, ESPN’s Adam Schefter hit us with a tweet that brought solace to the New York Giants fanbase. The tweet read, “Running back Saquon Barkley, who tore his ACL in Week 2 at Chicago, is on track to be ready for the (2021) season.”
Perfect, right? Comeback season is in full effect… or is it?
The latest Giants news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Giants newsletter here!
Barkley Won’t be a Full Participant in Camp, Not a Lock for Week 1
Despite the optimism surrounding Barkley’s rehab, the Giants have remained reluctant to place a timeline on their star running back’s return to the gridiron. In fact, they’ve gone out of their way to specifically not pinpoint a return date. This has led to some questioning when we’ll actually get to see No. 26 man his typical workload in the Giants’ backfield.
The obvious first marker would be training camp, which is expected to begin on July 27th, per NJ Media Group’s Art Stapleton. However, according to team insider Jordan Raanan, Barkley’s participation this summer remains murky, at best.
“As of last month, Barkley was on track to be ready for the start of the season, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. But nothing is a guarantee until he gets through full practices this summer,” Raanan wrote. “And that likely won’t be until later in training camp, if at all. We’re probably going to have to get used to Barkley standing around and watching against his will, itching to get back on the field.”
Raanan made it a point to note that there have been “no significant setbacks” since Barkley’s October surgery. Instead, the 24-year-old’s likely non-participation is simply due to the timeline in correlation to his rehab process, as well as Big Blue’s (rightful) bullishness to take a cautious approach with their offensive centerpiece.
“Barkley is sprinting and jumping, impressing those around him, even if the current plan does not include him being involved in the offseason on-field workouts with the team,” Raanan added. “He is not expected to be a full participant in practices early in training camp. If he’s outside at practice during organized team activities and minicamp this spring, it will be mostly to watch.”
To add further uncertainty to Barkley’s situation, TMZ Sports recently spoke with Giants co-owner Jonathan Tisch, who shed doubt on the running back’s availability come September 12th for the team’s Week 1 matchup against the Denver Broncos.
“With the future a large part of the equation, New York will be focusing on Barkley’s best interests and career longevity when it comes to integrating him back into the full-time mix,” Raanan proclaimed. “That probably won’t be until sometime during the regular season, even if the running back might want it to happen sooner.”
- Giants’ Promising 2020 Draft Pick Undergoes Position Change
- Giants’ 2x Super Bowl Champ Eyeing NFL Comeback at New Position
- Daniel Jones Has Message for Cross-Town Rival, Jets QB Zach Wilson
- Ex-Giants 2nd-Rounder, 49ers Starter Retires at 29 Years Old: Report
For more Giants content, follow @VinnySomma on Twitter.