Here are five players to watch when the Giants take on the Bears at Soldier Field:
RB Saquon Barkley
The Giants' running back downplayed his return this weekend to the site of his most serious injury and dismissed the notion that he should not play in the team's final two games, including Sunday against the Bears in Chicago.
It was in Soldier Field on Sept. 20, 2020, that Barkley tore his anterior cruciate ligament and sustained other damage in his right knee, ending his season after just 25 touches of the ball. Barkley will step on that fateful field for the first time when the Giants try to begin the new calendar year with a victory.
"I try not to think about it, but it happened," Barkley said to reporters Wednesday on a Zoom call. "I really don't try to think about it. I guess probably more so last year, but this is a whole different season."
CB James Bradberry
Last week, Bradberry joined Jason Sehorn (2000-01) as the only players in franchise history with at least 15 passes defensed in consecutive seasons. He is also the only player in the league with at least with 10 passes defensed in each of past six seasons. Bradberry broke up four passes and intercepted one in last year's game against the Bears.
LB Azeez Ojulari
The second-round pick ranks third among NFL rookies with 8.0 sacks. He needs at least 2.0 sacks in the final two games to become the fourth player 21 or younger in NFL history with at least 10.0 sacks in a single season. Ojulari would be the first player to do so since Joey Bosa and Yannick Ngakoue in 2016. Giants rookies have accumulated 12.0 sacks on the season, which is the second-most by a rookie class in franchise history and 1.0 behind the 2018 group (13.0).
K Graham Gano
After scoring four points last week, Gano became the fifth player in Giants history to log consecutive 100-point seasons. He has scored 100 of the Giants' 248 points this season (40.3 percent).
TE Evan Engram
Engram, who caught a touchdown last week, is one of three tight ends (Travis Kelce and George Kittle) with at least 40 receptions in each of past five seasons. Engram caught six passes for 65 yards in last year's game in Chicago.
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