On Monday, August 9, the New York Giants activated star RB, Saquon Barkley, from the PUP list. Now that Saquon is back in practice for the first time, since the beginning of the 2020 season, we must take a look at how his presence will contribute to the offense.
It is no secret that Barkley, while healthy, can be an elite running back in this league. In his first two years, he ran for over 1,000 yards, and during his explosive rookie season, Barkley was averaging over 80 yards per game and 5 yards per carry. The Giants are crossing their fingers that he can return to being that elite force.
We knew it was only a matter of time before Barkley was activated from the PUP (physically unable to perform) list. Reports of his rehabbing illustrated great progress. The question is now; How is Barkley going to handle his return?
At today's press conference head coach, Joe Judge was asked about his return to practice. "What you‘re going to see from him these first few days, he’ll be doing mostly individual teach periods. We’re not going to put him in 11-on-11 or 7-on-7 at this point right now, but as we keep building him up, we’ll really kind of start to get his body into the volume of practice, the pace of practice of the players out there, more football drills."
Will Barkley Be Ready For Week 1?
Of course, there is the typical theory that maybe Saquon will be ready to play for this week's first game of the preseason vs. the Jets. When asked about this Judge said, "Theoretically, yeah. Yeah, I am, absolutely.", but followed that later by saying, "You don’t want to put someone in a situation where they’re just getting the gauntlet out there getting hit, but that’s part of actual preparation, your body understanding and feeling the flow of how to get hit, how to fall, how to recover after that."
It seems as though Joe Judge is just as eager as Saquon is to get him in the game, but at the end of the day, the medical professionals must be 100% sure he is ready to play. This Giants cannot afford to lose him for another season especially with the team betting on the growth and development of QB, Daniel Jones, and Barkley is key in that process.
It is also important to keep in mind that Barkley is entering his fourth year, and the conversations surrounding future contracts will begin to be discussed. He must also fight to solidify his standing with the team and prove to them that he can stay healthy.