On Monday, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Barkley was “gearing up to play” in Week 1 this Sunday against Denver. The former No. 2 overall pick began participating in contact drills in practice last week in anticipation of making his return.
Still, Giants head coach Joe Judge remains coy about Barkley’s availability for this week. On Wednesday, Judge said the team still wants to see how Barkley responds to additional contact and three consecutive days of practice before making a decision.
Asked Joe Judge about Saquon Barkley’s explosion + ability to cut. He’s seen “a lot of improvement.”
Giants still want to see how he responds to contact Wednesday + 3 straight days practice. Going to make best decision for him long term.
“CANT STRESS THAT ENOUGH!” Judge adds.
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) September 8, 2021
While Judge may not be willing to say Barkley is playing on Sunday, Broncos head coach Vic Fangio is preparing with the idea that they’ll see the 2018 Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Broncos coach Vic Fangio on Saquon Barkley: “We’re under the assumption that he will play. He’s a hell of a player.”
— Zack Rosenblatt (@ZackBlatt) September 8, 2021
The Giants have a quick turnaround with a Thursday night game in Week 2, so that will likely factor into the team’s plans for Barkley. Still, if we had to bet, it seems likely that he’ll at least be in uniform for the opener.
The Giants and Broncos will kick off at 4:25 p.m. ET on Sunday.