The New York Giants are looking to get Saquon Barkley back for week one of the regular season, and training camp will be our best chance to see what condition the running back is in headed into September. However, Barkley isn’t starting as part of the active roster going into training camp. He’s beginning camp, along with five other players, on the active/physically unable to perform list.
The team announced that six players have been placed on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. They are running back Saquon Barkley (knee), center Jonotthan Harrison (hamstring), tackle Matt Peart (back), tight end Kyle Rudolph (foot), linebacker Oshane Ximines (hamstring) and rookie cornerback Aaron Robinson (core muscle), the team’s third-round draft choice.
This is more or less the expected outcome. While Barkley’s progress in recovering has been good by all reports, the Giants are taking their time with bringing him back. He hasn’t even been confirmed for a week one return date yet, so it makes sense that the Giants aren’t rushing Barkley into participating in camp.
The Giants will have the right to activate Barkley from this list during training camp if they so choose. However, they’ll have to make a more firm decision when the final roster cut happens – at this point, the Giants will either have to activate Barkley or place him on the reserve list which would make him ineligible to return for the opening six weeks.
The second scenario looks pretty unlikely based on what we’ve seen so far with Barkley’s return. There haven’t been any visible setbacks, and it appears the cautious approach stems from a careful attitude rather than any real problem in Barkley’s recovery.
Barkley is far from the only player on the list right now, and some of the other names are notable ones.
Matt Peart is one that’s specifically worth noting, as he’s expected to compete with Nate Solder this offseason for a starting spot. Most project Peart as the starting right tackle of the Giants, so him starting off camp on the physically unable to perform list is worth noting.
The hope, of course, is that the Giants will get all of these players back on the active roster by the time the final cut is made. And for Barkley, there’s more pressure than ever for that return due to his integral role in the offense this season.