Giants running back Saquon Barkley is making progress in his return from a torn ACL suffered in Week 2 of last season--that's the good news.
The not-so-good news is that Giants head coach Joe Judge can't pinpoint a return date in which Barkley, their superstar running back, will be cleared to move from the PUP list where he's been going through "simulated" practices to the real thing.
"I don’t want to go ahead and make any predictions or anything on Saquon, but I will say that this guy’s showing progress, tangible progress every day with our medical staff, with our strength staff," Judge said Monday.
"Right now, we’ve really mirrored his rehab to what our players are doing on the field practice-wise to make sure that he’s building up that same volume, that same intensity. We can kind of go apples to apples with what he’s done on a daily basis compared to the players that are in practice to give us a better picture in terms of where he is physically."
Judge explained that while Barkley isn't yet working against teammates, he has been ramping up on his workload to include things he might be asked to do in individual drills, such as running routes or the overloads that the team has in practice.
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Instead of doing that work in front of position coach Burton Burns, Barkley has been doing his work in front of a member of the training staff, the best news of all being that he hasn't had any known setbacks resulting in a reduced workload.
That said, Judge still declined to attach a ballpark figure as to when Barkley, one of four players (tight end Kyle Rudolph, edge Oshane Ximines and cornerback Aaron Robinson being the other three) remaining on the PUP list, might be ready to take and pass a physical.
"I couldn’t give you an answer on that," he said. "That’s not being coy right there. Look, with this injury right here, we’re going to make sure we do the right thing by Saquon and what’s better for the team, and we’ve got to take a long-term vision of this.
"The doctors know a lot more about the knee, about where he is medically. I know where his spirit is. I know where his work ethic is. I know he wants to be out there with the team. As I’ve said to him time and time again, 'When you’re ready, we’ll let you go.' I know he wants to be out there, but we’ve got to make sure we help our players make the right decision."
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