No surprise here, but the NFL Network reported Monday morning that New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley is "close" to being cleared to play in a game.
Barkley, according to the report, "is gearing up to play against the Denver Broncos" and "is as close as he's ever been" to being cleared after spending the better part of the year rehabbing from a torn ACL suffered last year in Week 2 of the season.
The Giants have been very cautious and deliberate with bringing Barkley back from his devastating injury, and thus far, all signs have pointed to Barkley's body responding positively.
But with the Giants having a short work week following their regular-season opener against Denver--they hit the road for a Thursday Night Football game against Washington--can the Giants afford to give Barkley reps in Week 1 and expect him to be ready for an increased workload the following week?
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The other news about tight end Evan Engram (calf) having a "slim chance" of playing Sunday doesn't come as a surprise given how quickly he exited the preseason finale against the Patriots and the lack of activity he had in practice the week after.
If Engram can't play, the Giants will be very thin at the tight end position considering Kyle Rudolph (foot), who is expected to be ready to play, only recently came off the PUP list and has been ramping up his workload.
The Giants have three tight ends on their practice squad--Jake Hausmann, Ryan Izzo, and Chris Myarick--so one is almost sure to be a game-day elevation later this week to reinforce the depth.
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