joe judge saquon barkley kadarius toney kenny golladay giants
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Joe Judge provided updates on Saquon Barkley, Kadarius Toney, and Kenny Golladay while speaking to the media Monday.

The first pair of Giants preseason games didn’t exactly portray the offensive unit you should expect to see during the regular season.

Big Blue didn’t plan to undergo their “dress rehearsal” preseason matchup until their third exhibition game, which occurs this Sunday against the Patriots. It was also important in the first two games to field projected reserve players and roster bubble guys in order to acquire a decent look at what they could accomplish in a game setting.

However, injuries have also played a role in the absence of numerous players, which is partly why you didn’t see Saquon Barkley, Kadarius Toney, or Kenny Golladay take the field against the Jets or Browns.

Barkley, for one, might be ready to take another step forward when the team travels to Foxborough, Massachusetts for joint practices with the Patriots this week.

“[Having him play against the Patriots] isn’t decided yet. We’re going to talk with the medical team. The priority will be to continue ramping him up and doing more and more,” head coach Joe Judge told the media Monday afternoon. “Last week in Cleveland…he did some 1-on-1s and some pass drills with our guys and against our defense early in practice. We were going to keep him out of competitive things last week, that was by design. We’ll see where he is, he keeps advancing in his rehab…physically, he keeps progressing and showing us that he can do more and more.

“So once we talk to the doctors [Monday], we’ll formulate a plan for what he’s going to do in Foxborough, through the practices and the game. But I would expect it to be more than what we saw last week. Now, I can’t say that means 11-on-11 or 7-on-7, I can’t give you that answer right now. But as soon as we find out, we’ll let you know before the practices happen what we expect him to do that day.”

Barkley may or may not play against the Pats, but many didn’t expect him to take part in the preseason anyway. The fourth-year running back suffered a grueling ACL tear last year that caused him to miss the final 14 games of the 2020 campaign.

The Giants just recently activated Saquon off the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.

Toney, on the other hand, is someone fans did expect to see in these practice games. However, the first-round wide receiver has undergone a strange start to his career amid a placement on the Reserve/COVID-19 list last month along with an injury he aggravated in the week leading up to the first preseason matchup.

Toney should be making the trip to Foxborough.

“In terms of [Toney’s] health, he’s progressing, he’s working hard, he’s doing everything our training staff has asked him to do,” Judge said. “We’re pleased with the progress he’s making, he’ll definitely be on the trip [to Foxborough] with us…we’ll talk [Monday] to see if we can build him more into some of the early-practice individuals and see, at that point, if he’s ready to progress and do anything more competitive, whether it’s 7-on-7 or 1-on-1s or anything of that nature.”

One of the big stories of this upcoming season will be the potential development of Daniel Jones. With an enhanced receiving corps, the number of excuses the third-year quarterback possesses is diminishing.

Having said that, starting the regular season off (against Denver Sept. 12) without Golladay, the team’s No. 1 wide receiver, would be a huge blow to Jones and the entire offensive unit.

Judge assures Golladay, who’s working to rehab a hamstring injury, is making strides though.

“I’ve got to go over the information that our trainers and medical team give to us — they keep telling me how he’s progressing very well in his rehab. He’s really building up and doing a lot better on a weekly basis,” Judge explained. “I don’t think you’re going to expect to see him in 11-on-11 this week…as we progress through the regular season, we got just about three weeks until the first game, we’ll see where he goes physically, and again, anybody we put on the field, we want to make sure they can go ahead and get on the field and stay on the field while playing healthy and playing effectively at 100 percent…I am very pleased with how he’s working, he’s doing everything we ask him to do, and he’s making progress on a daily basis.”

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.