The injury timetable for New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley has been a recurring news story surrounding the team, and the latest update in that saga gives us some actual numbers to work with.
Of course, the team itself is still pretty closed off about their intentions with the player and no return schedule has been announced by anyone on the staff. But according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, we can place Barkley’s return in a likely timeframe within the first few weeks of the season even without the team giving those details officially.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 6, 2021
This isn’t out of line with the information that was already out there about Barkley’s recovery schedule. While Barkley has made a lot of progress and has been seen working out at speed and making catches on a separate training field at practice, the Giants have been pretty clear about not pushing him back for week one.
Barkley himself has said multiple times that he’s taking things day by day, and at this point, the entire approach seems geared towards preventing fan disappointment if the staff decide to keep him on the bench for the season opener and maybe even the second or third game.
Right now, Barkley is on the Active/PUP list and has been since the start of training camp. But since an early season return is more or less already confirmed for him barring a setback, it looks like he’ll be off that list some time before the Giants decide their final roster.
When making their final roster cut, the Giants will have to decide between activating their players on this list or keeping them there and not getting another chance to bring them back for the first six weeks of the season.
Week three is a bit of a further out potential return than most would like to see, but ultimately, the Giants signed additional help at the running back spot for this purpose and the slightly later return date will likely be forgotten quickly if Barkley comes out right away and demonstrates a fast bounce back to his old pre-injury form.