For the most part, Giants quarterback Daniel Jones keeps his emotions to himself.
But Jones can indeed be forgiven if he's been showing just the slightest bit of joy over the potential return of running back Saquon Barkley to the team's offense after nearly a year away due to a torn ACL.
"Yeah, I mean he’s certainly a leader on this team and someone everyone looks to and listens to," Jones said Wednesday of the kind of lift Barkley would offer. "He’ll definitely help us out."
A fully healthy Barkley who recaptures his award-winning rookie-season form would undoubtedly do wonders for the league's 31st ranked scoring offense last season. Who wouldn't want a player in the lineup that has averaged 4.72 yards-per-carry or who's been averaging one rushing touchdown per every 29.2 carries, or who has a 73.4% catch rate on his pass targets?
Although the Giants have been bringing Barkley along slowly this summer, teammates have begun seeing the Saquon of old, in what's a very encouraging sign for an offense that desperately needs for its top playmakers to be capable of inflicting damage against opposing defenses.
"I think he’s an unbelievable athlete," Jones said. "You can tell with the ball in his hands, the way he runs routes, he’s an explosive guy and he certainly looks really good."
"I mean, Saquon’s a freakish athlete. He can make little runs turn into 60, 70, 80-yard runs for six points," added center Nick Gates. "It’s always great to have him out there. Hopefully, we can get him out there so he can compete with us."
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Head coach Joe Judge told reporters that he wanted to see how Barkley came through the current week of practice (which included a padded session Wednesday) before making a final decision regarding Barkley's status for Sunday's regular-season opener against Denver.
"There's a big part in just watching our players' bodies respond. He's no different than a lot of other guys we have right now coming off of injury that we're going to have to see if these next three days, in terms of what they can handle by load and how we think their bodies are going to respond going into Sunday," Judge said.
"We got to make the best decision for everybody's health going into the game. Saquon’s no different than that, so we're taking that lens of player safety as we go ahead and look at all these guys for the opener.
To Jones's somewhat untrained medical eye, he's very encouraged by what he's seen from his fellow captain.
"I think he looks great," Jones said. "I think he’s done a great job following what the trainers and the doctors have told him to do. He looks good practicing. He’s practicing hard and he looks really good."
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