New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley is back on the Quest Diagnostics Training Center field, but MetLife Stadium might be out of the question.
There likely will be no Snoopy Bowl for Saquon Barkley.
The New York Giants‘ prized rookie running back returned to practice this week, taking part in drills for the first time since sustaining what the team called a “mild strain” in his hamstring last week. His status for this Friday’s “MetLife Bowl,” the team’s annual preseason showdown with the New York Jets (7:30 p.m. ET, WCBS), is less than certain, however, as a source in East Rutherford told ESPN’s Jordan Raanan that he isn’t expected to play.
Barkley, speaking with reporters after his return to the practice area, believes he’s ready to face the Giants’ MetLife Stadium co-tenants, but understands the team and training staff’s cautiousness.
Personally, I’ll be honest, I feel good,” Barkley said, according to CBS Sports’ Dan Schneier. “I’ve been moving really well. But that’s what the trainers get paid for. They told me, and with guys like (Odell Beckham Jr.) that hurt their hamstring before, it’s when you feel 100 percent and give it that push, boom it happens again, that’s when you could have that setback. I don’t want any setbacks at all. That’s why I’ve just been trying to be a team player, listen and follow instructions. When it’s time for me, and they feel I’m ready, that’s when I’ll be ready.”
Barkley traveled with the team for their visit to Detroit last week, but did not partake nor in any joint practices with the Detroit Lions, nor did he dress for the game that culminated the visit, a 30-17 Giants win at Ford Field. With Barkley missing and Jalen Simmons suffering a concussion in the Friday win, rushing help appears to be at a premium for the Giants, who signed Jhurell Pressley to combat the injury epidemic.
Head coach Pat Shurmur has frequently said the team is going to be conservative when it comes to the draft’s second overall pick, and Beckham, still nursing the aftermath of an ankle injury of his own, is encouraging the same.
“I told him to take your time,” Beckham said last week, per Schneier. “There’s nothing you need to prove to any of us. There’s nothing you need to prove to anybody. You know what you’re capable of, I know what you’re capable of, and we know what you’re capable of. I think I pulled my hamstring my rookie season, and having to deal with that, I kind of can give him some insight on what I went through. At the same time, I have to step back because it’s his journey and you have to let him make his decision. I’m just trying to keep his spirits up because he wants to be a guy who works hard. He’s going to be good come (Week 1 of the regular season) and that’s all that really matters.”
Barkley has 43 yards on five carries this preseason, all gained in the Giants’ summer opener on Aug. 9 against Cleveland.