Back on April 28th, north of seven months since Saquon Barkley suffered a torn ACL on a fated evening against the Chicago Bears, ESPN’s Adam Schefter gifted Giants faithful with the update so many have longed for. The NFL insider tweeted that Barkley is “on track to be ready for the start of the (2021) season.”
While the outlook clearly appears positive for Barkley heading into the season, Hall of Famer Terrell Davis recently made it a point to issue what TMZ Sports dubbed a “stern warning” to the former NFL Rookie of the Year.
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Davis to Saquon: ‘Make Sure You’re Sure’
Davis, a two-time Super Bowl Champion and a one-time Super Bowl MVP, was fresh off a 2,000-plus yard rushing campaign when he suffered his own ACL/MCL injury in Week 4 of the 1999 season — an injury that would completely alter the trajectory of his NFL career.
“For me, I tell players coming back from an injury is sometimes you have to protect yourself from yourself,” Davis said in a TMZ Sports exclusive. “And, what I mean by that is we’re very competitive and we want to come back and beat the timeframe.”
“I remember coming back and I thought I was ready to play. And I was really trying to get back on the field, but long term it hurt me,” Davis noted, who carried the ball a total of just 245 more times after his injury (147 carries fewer than he had in his final pre-injury season) before he ultimately opted to hang up his cleats.
“I always tell players; ‘Listen, I understand you feel like you’re ready to come back, make sure you’re sure,” he noted. “Make sure that you’re ready to come back because you can do more damage if you come back prematurely than if you wait.’”
Giants Refuse to Put Timetable on Barkley’s Return
Chances are Barkley will indeed be back on the field come Week 1 of this season. Barkley will be nearly one year removed from the initial injury come opening day. With that said, he didn’t undergo surgery until nearly November. That timeline would certainly waiver from a 2019 study that claimed it takes NFL players 50 weeks to return to play after ACL surgery (11.5 months).
Of course, every player is different as is their rehab duration. While not everyone can boast the Wolverine-like healing powers of Adrian Peterson, you’d be hard-pressed to bet against Barkley, whose work ethic is nearly unparalleled.
“I’ll tell you what — I couldn’t be more pleased with how he works every day,” Head coach Joe Judge said during a guest appearance on WFAN’s Carton & Roberts. “I’m not a doctor. I’ll trust our training staff and the medical professionals to tell us when he’s ready to go. I just know he comes to work and does everything he’s asked to do. He’s getting better day by day.”
Despite Judge’s optimism, the head coach was reluctant to put an official timetable on No. 26’s return to the gridiron.
“Now, when they say he’s ready to go? That’s when we’ll put him on the field,” Judge noted. “But I want to make sure he’s ready to go, 100 percent, before we throw him out there.”
“I couldn’t tell you a timetable on that because we don’t really have a hard answer ourselves,” he added. “But I’d say that’s not out of the ordinary, for any player who’s coming off an injury at different levels of the rehab to have restrictions one way or another throughout training camp.”
“So he won’t be the only one that we may or may not have to monitor throughout training camp. But look — he’s doing everything he can to get himself back as fast as possible,” Judge proclaimed.
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