EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Here now, a semi-regular update on the progress of running back Saquon Barkley, courtesy of Joe Judge. The Giants coach often fields questions in his daily news conferences about Barkley, the star running back who is on the physically unable to perform/active list while he continues to rehab his surgically repaired knee. Today was one of those days.
"We're going to have conversations on a daily basis about his rehab and conversations on a weekly basis at times on where we think he is coming up," Judge said. "In terms of the timetable, I say it all the time to you guys, I'm just being flat out honest, I'm not a doctor. When the medical team tells me a guy is good to go and to put him on the field, I know he's good to go.
"Sometimes we'll have guys come out and they'll say, 'Hey, we got to limit this guy to these periods only today and phase him up' and you see a lot of that day by day. In terms of a player like Saquon and a timetable coming back, he's making daily progress. I know it sounds like a broken record, but that's important for us to see coming off an injury like this. You want to make sure that it's not push forward and take a step back."
Barkley and the other players on reserve lists cannot practice until they pass a physical. They usually work on a side field with the team's athletic trainers and performance staff. Barkley has been seen running sprints and cutting.
"There are times I look over," Judge said. "If I'm on that part of the field and he's over there working, I'll look over and watch him. In terms of watching film, if there's something specific the trainers want to show me to highlights something he has done, we'll go through that together. And then we have daily meetings. He's working hard and improving."
With Barkley sidelined, offseason acquisitions Devontae Booker and Corey Clement have taken most of the first-team reps. Rookie Gary Brightwell is third among the active group.
"We're getting them all ready to play," Judge said. "This doesn't change the course of action right here, what we're doing. Everyone's practicing, getting ready to play, we're going to keep more than one running back, that's no secret. I'll keep as many other quality players as we can.
"They all have a different skillset and they're all doing a good job on improving. Running backs are very unique a lot of times in how you use them. Some guys have different skillsets. Is it more blitz pick-up pass game? Is it more early down runs between the tackles downhill? And right now we are kind of finding all that out. One thing I've seen from all those guys is daily improvement and it's not just when the ball is in their hands, making cuts, pressing it and making reads, but it's the blitz pickup, it's the scans, it's the third down protections, getting out when they have to. It's understanding the multiples in the offense. These things all add up to them playing fast and the key to a running back is they have to play fast to be successful."
View the top photos from Friday's training camp practice at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.
*The Giants will be the home team when they begin their preseason schedule a week from tomorrow vs. the Jets. Judge said his players are ready to see opponents in a different uniform.
"I think they're at a point in training camp right now that is very natural where they're tired of beating up on each other," Judge said. "I think they're waiting to get to another opponent. I think every team in the league is at that point now. While it seems like it's only been about two weeks of being here, it's kind of like dog years. They come in every day, it's a little bit of Groundhog Day to get working.
"They do a good job. They work hard. I think you get to get a certain point where you may not be 100 percent ready for a full 60 minutes, but you're at that point where competition is driving you and you really want to go ahead and play against an opponent. I think one thing about our guys is obviously it's kind of like brothers fighting right now, right? They're all trying to get the best of each other and compete with each other and then you get to a point where you want to get outside the house and no one messes with you."
After the Jets game, the Giants will hold joint practices in succeeding weeks with the Cleveland Browns and the New England Patriots, their final preseason foes.