New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley entered training camp on the active/PUP list, but that won’t stop the rampant speculation about what his status for week one will be. Based on how the Giants played last season without him, it’s understandable that Barkley’s status has become an offseason fixation. And while we’re hearing many of the same things from the team, more is also emerging to indicate that Barkley is making fast progress.
For one, Barkley has been getting some work in outside of the main practices despite his status on the PUP list. While he’s not ready to put the pads on just yet, running and catching are well within the realm of Barkley’s current training. Notably, the running back was seen on Monday running a route in the background and making a leaping catch. It’s something that no doubt wouldn’t happen unless his recovery was in the advanced phase.
I spy Saquon Barkley ?
(All white outfit in the back, 150 yards away) pic.twitter.com/Mv6esuz6Rz
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) August 2, 2021
It’s not the only play that’s worth paying attention to. Barley has been turning heads as far back as last Thursday, and catching passes has apparently been an active part of his training schedule.
Saquon Barkley just caught a pass while working with trainers, turned and BURST up the field (wayyyy back there on the far field). Was watching with binoculars. Barkley was MOVING….. ? #Giants pic.twitter.com/EbJbUwnvsy
— Pat Leonard (@PLeonardNYDN) July 29, 2021
Joe Judge offers insights on Barkley’s recovery
We also have more word from Joe Judge about Barkley’s progress. But of course, Judge didn’t say anything about a return date, because the Giants are still committed to not rushing Barkley back on a specific day.
“You know what, heâ€™s making a lot of strides for us and I donâ€™t want to go ahead and make any predictions or anything on Saquon, but I will say that this guyâ€™s showing progress, tangible progress every day with our medical staff, with our strength staff,” Judge said about the matter back on Monday.
He also said that the Giants are building up the intensity of Barkley’s workouts, similar to how the regular practices are getting more intense.
“But as you watch him, I know you guys are looking at him, period by period, his rehab is structured to mirror what the other players on the field are doing as much as possible,” Judge told reporters.
Will we see Barkley in week one or not?
Obviously, it’s too early to say for sure. The Giants have been very persistent in saying they don’t have a fixed date to bring the player back. However, we can make some assumptions based on what we’ve seen so far.
The workouts we’re seeing from Barkley right now with him running at high speed, doing routes, and catching passes, don’t look like the kind of workouts that would be assigned to an injured player who needs to be careful on the field.
The Giants are taking a precautionary approach rather than a rushed one, but just based on what we’re seeing out of Barkley in small flashes, it looks like this is more of a safety measure than a statement that Barkley isn’t ready to play yet.
Given that there’s still time between now and the start of the regular season, with the preseason yet to happen, it does look like Barkley is on track. If he doesn’t end up playing in week one, it seems so far that it will more likely than not be due to a sudden setback and not something expected.