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Next steps for Saquon Barkley, Kadarius Toney


On a conference call the day after the preseason opener, coach Joe Judge said he plans to take the Giants' injured players to Cleveland this week.

"The purpose being going out there and letting them do some of their rehab and recovery while we're out there either at Cleveland's facilities or on the field while we're practicing, so that will be the plan right now," Judge said. "If something changes or someone has a unique situation that could include a person, two people, whatever may come up right now that we don't have listed as an issue. But as we go through medical meetings today and tomorrow, that's something we'll have to address."

Judge was asked specifically about rookie wide receiver Kadarius Toney, the team's first-round draft choice who was not in uniform last night due to an undisclosed injury.

"All plans are to have him out there," Judge said. "There's no conversations at this point of anything different. That will be the same for all of our players. The only thing is if maybe some of these injuries coming out of the game, that may be something different for those players. In terms of everything prior to this game, the plan is to have all those players with us out in Cleveland."

*Judge said the football hierarchy would meet Sunday with the team's medical staff to determine the next step in Saquon Barkley's rehabilitation. The star running back returned to practice last Monday as he continues to work his way back from the knee surgery he underwent last October. Barkley did not play against the Jets.

"He responded well last week to the volume and the load," Judge said. "I thought the plan of putting him through a couple of days, backing him off, ramping him back up, so obviously they have a really good feel for his body working with him throughout these last few months through the rehab process. At this point, the focus is really to kind of get him moving more and more within the football movements.

"In terms of what that's going to mean for him this week in Cleveland, we'll have to wait and see. I wouldn't anticipate him being in any kind of live drills this week. As of this point, that would be the plan, but we'll see where it goes as we go on down further and further when his body is ready for all the football."

*Judge did not have a definitive update on quarterback Clayton Thorson, who was injured on the Giants' final offensive play when he was sacked in the end zone for a safety. Thorson threw a game-high 16 passes, completing five.

"We're going to wait to see what the doctors say about him," Judge said. "He spent time with the medical team today. We're going to find out his final status. Obviously, we'll make more of a decision on that. Hopefully it all comes out for the best, he's been working hard for us. If there's an injury at quarterback, we'll look to bring in an additional player to help us go ahead and function for the remainder of training camp or however long someone's out."

*Outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari was the only one of the Giants' first five draft choices to play in the game.

"It was great," he said. "Finally got the opportunity to go out and compete against a different team. It was just great. It was a learning curve for me just continuing to go out there and get better. It was phenomenal."

Ojulari had just one tackle, but it was memorable. He escaped a block from 363-pound tackle Mekhi Becton, the Jets' 2020 first-round draft choice, to tackle rookie Michael Carter after a one-yard run.

"They called a play and I just tried to play my technique the best that I can," Ojulari said. "He's a big guy and I just tried to shed off of him and make a play. Just playing football."

Asked if Becton is the biggest offensive lineman he's ever faced, Ojulari said, "Yessir, he is. So far."

Check out the best photos from the Giants' preseason opener against the New York Jets.

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