saquon barkley andrew thomas giants buccaneers
Syndication: The Record

Saquon Barkley and Andrew Thomas have missed time due to injury.

The bye week comes at a great time for the Giants — one of the reasons being it provides them with the necessary timeframe to improve from a health standpoint.

This team has dealt with a number of injuries in recent weeks, including ones to running back Saquon Barkley (ankle) and left tackle Andrew Thomas (ankle and foot). The former hasn’t played since the Week 5 loss to the Cowboys while the latter sustained his injuries in Week 6 and has been on injured reserve.

Given the team doesn’t play again for another two weeks (Monday, Nov. 22 vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers), there’s a chance either will be active the next time the Giants take the game field.

“Based on the conversations I had [Monday] with trainers, I’m hoping that we’ll be able to have both guys back for Tampa,” head coach Joe Judge told the media Monday. “I think we’ve got to give them an opportunity this week…[Thomas] obviously got rolled up pretty good against the Rams so he was placed on IR. This will be an opportunity for him to come out of that IR situation and be available. We’ll get him on the field [Tuesday] and have him do some things with the trainers in terms of seeing him move around. That may open up a window to get him out there a little bit more on Wednesday and do some things in practice with us.

“Both of those guys will be here throughout the week and continue to rehab and progress. Hopefully, we’ll be able to have both of those guys available, I can’t give you an answer right now on the exact timeline. But hopefully, it works out for those guys and the team and we get them back sooner than later.”

Barkley is experiencing yet another injury-plagued season. He missed 14 games due to an ACL tear last year and was sidelined for a trio of matchups in 2019 because of a high-ankle sprain.

The constant health-related issues will obviously play a role in whether the Giants decide to extend him beyond his current rookie deal. Thanks to the exercising of the fifth-year option this past offseason, Barkley is signed through the 2022 campaign.

Devontae Booker, who rushed for 99 yards in Sunday’s win over the Raiders, has started in Saquon’s place.

These last three games (against the Panthers, Chiefs, and Raiders) were the first games of Thomas’ career in which he was inactive. The 2020 first-round draft pick played in all 16 games last year. He didn’t play in this season’s Week 5 loss due to injury but was active for emergency purposes.

Second-year man Matthew Peart has been manning Daniel Jones‘ blindside in Thomas’ absence.

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