Saquon Barkley could very much suit up for the Giants when they face the Denver Broncos on Sunday, Sept. 12.
Exciting news is coming out of East Rutherford, but nothing is totally confirmed as of this time.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports Saquon Barkley has a “strong chance” to suit up Week 1 for the Giants. Barkley is coming off an ACL tear and it’s always been unclear whether he will be good to go for the team’s Sept. 12 regular-season opener against the Broncos.
#Giants RB Saquon Barkley is trending in the right direction and has a strong chance to play Week 1 against Denver, per source. Team won't decide until next week and has been cautious so could still hold him back. But there is optimism. Barkley tore his ACL in Week 2 of 2020.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) September 2, 2021
If Barkley isn’t ready for Week 1, the idea is that he could be ready to go Week 3 (Sept. 26). I say this because the Giants have a quick turnaround following Week 1 (their Week 2 matchup is just four days after their season opener).
According to Art Stapleton of The Record, Barkley was in full pads for the Giants’ Thursday practice — a good sign.
Giants offense update:
Saquon Barkley, Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, Kadarius Toney and Kyle Rudolph all working in full pads during media viewing period.
— Art Stapleton (@art_stapleton) September 2, 2021
Facing contact will be a big step for Barkley in his road to recovery, which has been a long one since last September’s major injury.
The Giants do possess reinforcements, however, should Barkley need to sit for the first game. Devontae Booker is expected to be the top running back behind Saquon on the depth chart and rookie sixth-round draft pick Gary Brightwell additionally made the final roster.
The Giants also employ sixth-year man Elijhaa Penny. While he’s more of a fullback, Penny did carry the football during the preseason, having rushed for 35 yards on four carries during the team’s third and final exhibition matchup against the Patriots.