New York Giants: Saquon Barkley feeling good after return to drills

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

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.

New York Giants already declare key offensive players OUT for second preseason game

new york giants, kadarius toney

The New York Giants are currently enjoying a week of joint practices with the Cleveland Browns. The Giants and Browns will face off in a preseason Week Two matchup on Sunday night.

In their first preseason game, key members of the team were held out in an effort to keep them healthy for the start of the regular season. Players like Daniel Jones and Leonard Williams did not see the field on game day. Many of these key players will return to the field to start ramping up to game speed. But the Giants have already declared a number of key offensive players out for their second preseason game.

Kenny Golladay (hamstring), Kyle Rudolph (foot), Saquon Barkley (knee), and Kadarius Toney (unknown) will all be absent from the Giants’ lineup on Sunday.

When will these players return?

Daniel Jones and most of the starters on offense will take the field on Sunday. In the third preseason game versus the Patriots next weekend, Joe Judge wants the starters to play most of the first half. But will these injured players be back in time to create some chemistry in the preseason? Or will Golladay, Rudolph, Barkley, and Toney have to wait until the regular season to see some action?

Kyle Rudolph

At this point, it appears Kyle Rudolph will not be seeing the field until the regular season. In fact, it looks like it could be a long time before he suits up for the Giants. Rudolph does not seem close to returning and if he is not activated off of the PUP list by the start of the regular season, he will miss at least the first six weeks of the year.

Kenny Golladay

Kenny Golladay is a player the Giants need healthy for the regular season. He suffered a hamstring tweak a few weeks ago and avoided the worst-case scenario, but he has not been a full participant in practice since the injury occurred. At this point, Golladay could be healthy enough to play next week, but it might be wise for the Giants to let him rest up and focus on the regular season.

Saquon Barkley

Like Golladay, Saquon Barkley is an essential piece of the Giants’ offense. New York needs their superstar running back to get healthy. It is hard to imagine that the Giants would risk an injury to Barkley by playing him in the preseason considering the severity of the injury he is recovering from.

Kadarius Toney

Kadarius Toney is a major question mark to this point. The rookie wide receiver has barely practiced with the team this summer and is now dealing with a mystery injury. The Giants say he is dealing with an injury but have not specified what the injury might be. At this point, no one knows when Toney will be recovered. All Giants fans can do is wait and hope to see Kadarius Toney on the field for the start of the regular season.

New York Giants: Dave Gettleman open to negotiating contracts mid-season

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

Those who are already looking ahead to next season’s free agency may not have to wait so long for the New York Giants to make some moves. While General Manager Dave Gettleman has stayed away from negotiating new contracts during the season before, that appears to have changed. The shift may end up affecting some of the most relevant players for the Giants, such as running back Saquon Barkley and safety Jabrill Peppers.

I think it depends upon the guy, I think it depends upon where the team‘s at. I used to feel that it was a bad idea, but not so much. Have I changed my idea on that? Yes, I’m a lot more flexible on that,” Gettleman told reporters on Tuesday when asked about his current position on negotiating contracts in-season.

He was specifically asked if Jabrill Peppers could be one of the players that enters early negotiations, but Gettleman refused to go into detail about specific contract situations.

Peppers is set to enter unrestricted free agency following this season. Due to the team’s depth at safety and their ability to recover from losing Peppers’ presence at the position, a trade before the deadline looks like a possible outcome to ensure that the Giants get something back rather than letting the player walk. If the Giants are planning on making such a move, it makes sense that Gettleman isn’t willing to speak publicly on Peppers’ contract just yet.

Saquon Barkley, on the other hand, is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2023. Given his important role in the offense and the future of the franchise, it’s likely the Giants work out a deal before the point where Barkley hits the open market.

Could that deal make progress this season after Barkley makes his return? We’ll have to wait to find out, but much of it likely depends on just how fast Barkley gets back up to speed and whether his performance on the field gives him the leverage for a larger payday come contract time.

New York Giants: Saquon Barkley’s training camp return draws praise from Judge

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

The New York Giants finally have Saquon Barkley back. At least, in a limited form. Barkley is finally on the field and participating in training camp after heading into it on the Active/PUP list, even if the strategy for the Giants has been to keep him from pushing himself too much too soon. Barkley had a limited workload because of that, but few will complain about that given Barkley’s long absence from any kind of full speed practice in pads.

This is, after all, one of the last steps in a recovery that started with a surgery during last season and a long rehab process that has lasted until now. After all of this, the Giants have no reason to rush Barkley into taking a larger role in training camp and potentially causing further problems.

Despite Barkley’s smaller role, however, the running back still earned praise from head coach Joe Judge after his return to the field.

“(It is) more an extension of the rehab. We’ve got to make sure that we control not only just what he does on the field, but then also the repetitions and the volume he gets within each period, so it’s something we’re going to keep an eye on and see how his body responds,” Judge told reporters.

He said that Barkley’s limits will be removed over time and that the progress so far was encouraging.

“We’ll look to increase it as we go through this process, but in terms of yesterday, I was very encouraged with how he came out and had a good day of work. Good excitement for a lot of people to have him back.”

The goal of Barkley’s progress

Barkley making a return to training camp is a big milestone in his recovery timeline – and also makes it look more likely that he’ll be ready for week 1 of the regular season.

As much as everyone would like to see Barkley on the field then, both Barkley and the team have refused to confirm week 1 as a return date.

However, we can use certain things to judge Barkley’s progress such as his return to full speed training as well as his route running and pass catching while working out away from the rest of the team earlier in training camp.

Based on these things, Barkley looks like a player that’s closer to being on the field at the start of the season.

Despite all the speculation about Barkley potentially missing the opener and maybe not even being available until week 3, it really shouldn’t be surprising at this point if Barkley ends up smashing the estimates and making it back in time thanks to his fast current rate of progress.

New York Giants: Saquon Barkley’s return will open up the passing game for Daniel Jones

New York Giants, Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley

The New York Giants received a huge boost to their offense this week as superstar running back Saquon Barkley was activated off the PUP list and returned to practice. Fans are excited for Barkley to rejuvenize the Giants’ rushing attack in 2021 and give them the ability to move the ball efficiently on the ground. But Saquon’s return not only impacts the running game. His return also opens things up for Daniel Jones in the passing game.

Saquon Barkley as a receiver

Saquon Barkley is one of the best running backs in the NFL. Every time he has the ball in his hands, there is a chance he will take it to the end zone. This is true for Barkley is a rusher, and even as a receiver. In his historic rookie season, Saquon set a franchise record with 91 total receptions as a rookie. He also notched 721 receiving yards and 4 receiving touchdowns.

The Giants have one of the NFL’s best receiving backs in Saquon Barkley. Even in his banged-up 2019 season, Barkley totaled 438 receiving yards. Through one-and-a-half games in 2020 he caught 6 passes for 60 yards.

With the improvements that the Giants made to their receiving corps this offseason, Saquon might see less volume as a receiver. But less volume could lead to greater efficiency. The ball will be spread out more to New York’s talented weapons. As the defense keys in on a receiver like Kenny Golladay, they could forget to cover Saquon out of the backfield as he rips them down the sideline on a wheel route. This same principle works inversely, too.

More one-on-one opportunities for wide receivers

If a team stacks the box to try to slow down Saquon Barkley, they leave wide receivers like Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard, and Darius Slayton in one-on-one coverage. These are talented wide receivers that absolutely have the ability to win one-on-one matchups. As teams hone in on stopping Saquon, they will squeeze their defenses into tighter formations to defend against the run, allowing the Giants’ offense to spread out and attack the defense through the air. Daniel Jones will have a fun time throwing to more open wide receivers in 2021 after his previous group failed to create separation in 2020. There is no understating the impact that Saquon Barkley will have on the New York Giants offense.

Report: Giants’ Saquon Barkley being activated off PUP list, eyeing Week 1 return

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

Ever since the New York Giants lost Saquon Barkley in 2020 during a Week 2 regular-season game against the Chicago Bears, they’ve been waiting patiently for his return. Rehabilitating during the off-season, Barkley tore his ACL, MCL, and partially tore his meniscus.

An injury of this magnitude requires time and hard work to recover from, but he’s expected to make it 100% return this upcoming season. The Giants gained a bit of good news on Monday morning.

According to Paul Schwartz of the NY Post, star running back Saquon Barkley is preparing to rejoin the team from the PUP list this week.

Big Blue is hoping that Barkley can reach his rookie statistics, totaling over 2000 all-purpose yards and 15 touchdowns. Recording 121 targets in the receiving game, including 91 receptions, Barkley is not only a force on the ground, but through the air as well. The attention he commands from opposing defenses opens up the rest of the offense for players like Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney to dominate their matchups.

The last time Barkley had himself a WR1 to work with was during his rookie campaign when Odell Beckham Jr. roamed the field. While Golladay offers an entirely different style of player, thriving in possession and red zone situations, the results should be the same. Barkley forces defenses to stack the box, which ultimately takes a player out of deep coverage.

With one less safety to deal with, Golladay has more room to roam in deeper portions of the field where he can use his long frame and physical presence to overwhelm defensive backs.

The impact Saquon Barkley will have on the New York Giants is huge:

However, Barkley will also be a tremendous help to quarterback Daniel Jones, who was overrun by pass rushers last season. With an extra linebacker or safety in the box at the second level, that’ll be one less pass rusher Jones has to account for.

The expectation for the young running back is that he will be available for the team’s Week 1 matchup against the Denver Broncos, barring any setbacks. Head coach Joe Judge indicated they would be having daily conversations regarding his rehab and making sure he’s on pace to make an impact his upcoming year. It’s all about daily progress instead of a timetable for return, Joe mentioned.

Barkley has been rather skeptical about his comeback this off-season, but to no one’s surprise, he’s making fantastic progress and should be ready to go in a few weeks.

New York Giants: Saquon Barkley could reportedly return anywhere from weeks 1 to 3

Saquon Barkley

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.

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.

New York Giants: What is Saquon Barkley’s status in training camp week two?

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

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.

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.

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, he’s making a lot of strides for us and I don’t want to go ahead and make any predictions or anything on Saquon, but I will say that this guy’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.

New York Giants re-sign veteran RB Alfred Morris, Joe Judge talks Saquon Barkley

alfred morris, new york giants

The New York Giants have signed another veteran player to compete during training camp. After signing linebacker Todd Davis and offensive lineman Joe Looney over the weekend, the Giants kick off this week by signing running back Alfred Morris.

New York Giants re-sign Alfred Morris

The Giants have signed Alfred Morris to a one-year deal. Morris is a nine-year NFL veteran who spent the 2020 season with the New York Giants. Last season, the 32-year-old running back averaged 4.3 yards per carry after stepping in to run alongside Wayne Gallman when Saquon Barkley was out.

Alfred Morris is now entering his tenth season in the NFL, making him one of the oldest players on the Giants’ youthful offense. He joins a crowded running back room that features Devontae Booker, Corey Clement, and rookie Gary Brightwell as the backs currently practicing.

Alfred Morris was a solid, reliable runner for the Giants last season. He rushed for 238 yards and one touchdown on 55 carries in nine games last season. Morris also caught one receiving touchdown, the first of his lengthy NFL career.

What this means for Saquon Barkley

According to Joe Judge, this signing doesn’t have to do with Saquon Barkley. According to Zack Rosenblatt of NJ.com, Judge wanted to add depth and said he “loves” the way Morris competes.

Joe Judge added that he has seen “tangible progress” from Saquon Barkley as the superstar running back continues to rehab. He’s not there yet, but sooner than later Saquon will be back at full strength.

The signing of veteran Alfred Morris does not say anything about Saquon Barkley’s injury and it is also not an indictment of any of the other running backs on the roster. Rather, the signing says a lot about how impressed the Giants’ coaching staff was with Alfred Morris last season. He is a hard-working football player with great leadership and a fantastic work ethic. The Giants need as many competitors as they can get during training camp, and Alfred Morris is a great one to have on the practice field.

New York Giants: Joe Judge confirms long term approach with Saquon Barkley

It’s well known by now that the New York Giants aren’t rushing back Saquon Barkley. The running back’s status has been in the news for months as his recovery is closely watched by fans and the national media, but even after all this time we still don’t have a definite return date. Barkley might be back for week one, or he might sit it out. Barkley claims he doesn’t know the future outcome himself, and the team has backed up that ‘day by day’ approach.

However, we now have some more official confirmation from Joe Judge himself about what the Giants are thinking with their strategy in regards to Barkley. Judge had an interview with ESPN and shot down the idea of planning Barkley’s return around an artificial timeline.

Judge’s statements on Barkley’s recovery

“We’re thinking long term with Saquon; long term in the season, long term in his career. And by taking care of him individually, that is going to help our team long term as well. We’re going to make sure when we get him out there we can keep him out there,” Judge told ESPN.

The long term approach isn’t what some fans will want. After all, the Giants struggled rushing last season without Barkley and moved on from top backup Wayne Gallman. If they don’t get Barkley back in the number one spot right away, the Giants may very well see their early season results impacted by having to rely on an unproven stable of new backups.

But we’ve more or less heard the same story from the Giants every time the issue of Barkley’s timeline comes up. It seems that, unpopular or not, the Giants are committed to the current plan.

“And we’ve got to make sure we do the best thing for him as we go along the way and make sure we make decisions based on his body and not some artificially anticipated timeline,” Judge continued. “When he’s ready to go, that is when he’s going to be out there.”

The hope is that Barkley will be ready to face the Broncos, but that looks like less of a certainty as the offseason continues. With so many statements like this, it’s possible that the franchise is well aware of that and is focused on priming the fanbase to not be alarmed if Barkley turns out to miss the opener.