Barkley hit the practice field for the first time since his injury, a huge step forward after the injury. There is plenty on the line for the Giants this year, and they are certainly at their best with the former No. 2 pick in the backfield.
“It felt great,” Barkley said after practice. “Obviously, I know what I was going to be able to do, it was gonna be light. But just to be back with my teammates and be back practicing and playing the sport that I love, meant the world to me. I know it’s not a huge step, but it’s a small step in my rehab process and I’m just happy to be back out there.”
His head coach Joe Judge was “really encouraged” by what he saw from Barkley as well. At the same time, they’re planning to bring him along relatively slowly as he works his way back from that significant knee injury.
This isn’t surprising, but don’t expect to see Saquon Barkley in competitive teams drills when the Giants have their joint practices in Cleveland and New England over the next two weeks. Joe Judge prefers a “controlled setting” for his recovering running back. pic.twitter.com/wJBVf3dfNb
— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) August 10, 2021
Saquon Barkley was one of the NFL’s best running backs soon after breaking into the league in 2018. He ran for 1,307 yards and 11 touchdowns as a rookie, averaging five yards per carry. He was also a dangerous weapon out of the backfield, catching 91 passes for 721 yards and four scores.
The following year, his production tailed off a bit, as he missed three games. He finished with 1,441 yards and eight touchdowns from scrimmage.
Last year, he was pretty ineffective early in the year, totaling 34 yards on the ground and 60 through the air in his two appearances. Few expect that to be representative of what he can do going forward, as long as he stays healthy.