NY Giants’ Saquon Barkley addresses possibility of playing Week 1

Saquon Barkley #26 of the New York Giants (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)
Saquon Barkley #26 of the New York Giants (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images) /

Saquon Barkley took his biggest step yet, towards possibly returning for the NY Giants’ season opener against the Denver Broncos 

The NY Giants have taken a cautious approach to Saquon Barkley all summer, but it sounds like the kid-gloves came off last week.

As the season-opener against the Denver Broncos looms in one week, the Giants put  Barkley through some contact during practice late last week, something the running back hasn’t faced since tearing his ACL in Week 2 of the 2020 season, last September.

"“I know Week 1 and the season is right around the corner,” Barkley told reporters on Thursday.“But, I’m just taking it one day at a time. That’s the approach I’m going to take not just rehabbing, but from now on. I feel like that’s the best thought process to have throughout the season, not just for me as a player physically, but mentally, too. So, I’m just going to take it one day at a time and that’s my approach. I’m just happy to be back out there playing the sport I love.”"

It remains to be seen whether Barkley will be healthy enough to suit up for the season-opener, but it is encouraging that less than a year after being injured that he’s able to take part in a full practice, including taking a hit.

From the sound of it, Barkley wasn’t even hesitant, or thinking about his knee during his most significant workload yet, post-injury.

There wasn’t even a hit that made him feel like he was knocking the rust off, or made him leery of the knee.

“No,” Barkley said. “I think that’s a positive thing. I’m not really focusing on it too much. Going out there just practicing, trying to get back to full speed, trying to get back into football condition. It’s two different conditions from being able to run all day to actually go out there and making those live simulated cuts and game cuts and game routes. That’s just been my biggest focus, just getting my conditioning back.”

Matt Lombardo is FanSided’s National NFL Insider and writes Between The Hash Marks each Wednesday. Email Matt: Matt.Lombardo@FanSided.com.