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2020 was a tough year for New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley. He missed a majority of the season with a torn ACL, making his third NFL season a bust.
Barkley has been aggressive in his rehab as he works his way back to the playing field, but for now, Giants head coach Joe Judge is not putting a time frame on when the running back can take the field at anywhere close to 100 percent.
Judge spoke Tuesday and stressed that they don’t want Barkley to rush a return and then injure himself even more.
“We’re going to make sure we take Saquon’s rehab at the correct rate for his individual body and his injury,” Judge told reporters via Zoom on Tuesday.
“It’s not any mirror of anybody else’s injury out there. We got to make sure we let him get at his pace when we put him on the field, that he can play 100 percent aggressive and confident that he can go out there and he’s going to play safe and play effective.”
Back in May, ESPN’s Jordan Raanan stated that the Giants might have to ease Barkley into his regular workhorse role early in the upcoming season.
The expectation is for Barkley to resume a full load in the New York offense. The Giants recently signed free agent Devontae Booker, who could help the Giants’ offense if Barkley were to remain limited in September.
Reports say that Barkley is NOT expected to take the field for any of the mandatory minicamps, and that the G-Men are going to continue to play it safe with his return.
Before he injured his ACL two games into last season, Barkley ran for just 34 yards on 19 carries. He rushed for just six yards on 15 carries in the season opening loss to the Steelers at home, and in Week Two he rushed for 28 yards on four carries against the Chicago Bears.
We shall see how long it takes Barkley to officially take the field. For now with 14 Sundays before the 2021 NFL season kicks off, it’s up to the Giants and Barkley to take it easy and gauge his progress without rushing anything.