EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Saquon Barkley, Wayne Gallman and Evan Engram practiced all week, they are not listed on the Giants' final injury report, and each is eager to return to action in the team's Sunday home game against the Arizona Cardinals.
And after he announced that wide receiver Sterling Shepard and rookie cornerback Corey Ballentine will not play, coach Pat Shurmur today said, "Everybody else should be available. We'll see how that goes."
But Shurmur, while conceding the players have been cleared medically, declined to connect the dots and say definitively that the players will be in uniform when the Giants try to break their two-game losing streak.
"These are guys that are coming back from injury," Shurmur said. "I'm going to wait until the end to make sure that they're ready to play. That's all."
Barkley missed the last three games with a sprained ankle, Gallman was sidelined almost two full games with a concussion, and Engram did not play last week in New England because of a knee injury.
Gallman had 118 yards from scrimmage and scored two touchdowns in a victory over Washington in the first game Barkley sat out. But with both sidelined the last two weeks (except for two Gallman carries), the Giants totaled 116 rushing yards. In his two years with the team, Barkley has been the engine that drives the offense, and could presumably be again on Sunday.
"He practiced fully," Shurmur said. "We'll just have to wait and see. He's available, and if he's back, he'll be ready to go. I just choose not to tell you right now because we'll just wait and see. There are a lot of guys that practice. Some of them will play, some of them don't.
Keep an eye on these players when the Giants host the Cardinals on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
"All along here, we let him practice and see how he responds to practice, and he's done a really good job with all of that. We'll get him ready to play."
If Barkley, Gallman and Engram all return, the Giants will have back 75% of the key offensive players who did not play against the Patriots (Shepard would be the lone absence). Their presence would surely help rookie quarterback Daniel Jones.
"It means a lot to the whole team when you can get some of the guys that started out being starters and main contributors back in the lineup," Shurmur said. "It can help things. I think that goes without saying."
So, will a final decision on the players' availability wait until Sunday.
"We'll see if they're in there," Shurmur said. "That's all. I'm not trying to play a game here. I'm just choosing not to tell you who's going to be up and who's going to be down."
*Shepard will miss his second consecutive game and third of the season, and Ballentine will be inactive for the first time. Both players are in the NFL concussion protocol.
*Rookie linebacker Ryan Connelly, who started three games before tearing his ACL vs. Washington, this morning underwent surgery that was performed by team physician Dr. Scott Rodeo at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.
*The Giants lead the all-time series with the Cardinals, 80-44-2. Arizona won the two most recent meetings, in 2014 and 2017.
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