New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley recently made the next step in his return to participating as an active member of the team, and that came in the form of taking part in live drills. Barkley was on the field for both 7-on-7s and 11-on-11s during the most recent of the joint practices with the Patriots, and even received snaps against the New England defense.
Most importantly, Barkley is doing well in his return so far with no sign of a setback coming up.
“It felt good. Obviously, I wasn’t at practice yesterday, but it feels good being with the team, feels good to get a couple of team reps,” Barkley told reporters. “It’s just fun to be able to play football again, feel like a little kid and just taking it day by day.”
Looking ahead towards week 1
We still don’t know if Barkley is going to be ready for week 1 of the regular season. However, Barkley claims that within the context of the training the Giants have given him, he’s going 100 percent.
“Within the realm of what I was doing, I was 100 percent. I didn’t get to really open up, they kind of blew the whistle. I personally think maybe it would have been a different outcome there. I’m going 100 percent with what I’m able to do, but continue as we get more reps and I get more team reps and more work in, more of those natural reps are going to come in.”
The Giants open the season in under three weeks and all eyes will be on Barkley as we get closer to the opener. The team has clearly prepared for Barkley potentially not being present, as shown by their multiple additions to the backup running back position.
But with higher stakes this season for an offense that has been poor for years, and with Barkley’s contract situation getting closer to being relevant, there’s quite a lot of pressure for him to be on the field from the start. At this rate of recovery, that may be possible – but it’s still not quite a safe bet to make.