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Star NFL running back Saquon Barkley emerged from the shadows of the medical tent this week and finally began taking part in some team practice activities. His workout marked the first time he had seen the field since September 2020 when he suffered a torn ACL and meniscus against the Bears in Chicago. For now, the former offensive Rookie of the Year is relegated to a side field where he cuts and runs under the supervision of the medical staff, but that’s officially about to change.
“We’re going to have conversations on a daily basis about his rehab and conversations on a weekly basis at times on where we think he is coming up,’’ head coach Joe Judge recently explained. “In terms of the timetable, I’m not a doctor. I let the medical team tell me a guy is good to go and put him on the field, I know he’s good to go.
“In terms of a player like Saquon and a timetable coming back, he’s making daily progress. I know it sounds like a broken record, but that’s important for us to see coming off an injury like this. You want to make sure that it’s not push forward and take a step back.’’
The Giants certainly don’t want to rush their 24-year-old star back too soon—Barkley isn’t expected to play any preseason snaps whatsoever—but the hope around the front office is that Barkley will be ready for the Sept. 12 opener against the Broncos.
“I don’t know. I guess we’ll see,” Barkley said last month about the opener. “Whenever I’m able to get out there, make sure that I’m 110 percent not just for the safety and health of myself and my well-being, but just so I can go out there and compete at a high level, and show the world who Saquon is again.”
A healthy running game will go a long way in helping quarterback Daniel Jones take the coveted leap from ‘potential’ to ‘franchise quarterback.’ If the two players can really ‘click’ and develop chemistry, the Giants will surprise some people this fall. FanDuel Sportsbook currently has the team’s win total set at a juiced 7 games (remember, 17-game season now), and has their odds to win the wide-open NFC East at nearly four to one (+390). A healthy Saquon paired with a matured Jones will almost guarantee some of these futures bet to cash, but any further setbacks would likely kill them immediately. It’s a pivotal year for the New York Football Giants, and like all NFL seasons, they’ll need a bit of good luck to make it a memorable one.