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Giants Now: Saquon Barkley updates rehab progress

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Saquon Barkley doing "really well" in rehab

In a recent interview on the Associated Press Pro Football Podcast, Giants running back Saquon Barkley said he is doing "really well" in rehab as he comes back from a season-ending knee injury. Barkley, the first player in Giants history to rush for at least 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons, suffered a torn right anterior cruciate ligament two games into his third year and underwent surgery on Oct. 30.

"Very lucky to have a great team around me, great trainers, great doctors," Barkley said. "Everyone has been very beneficial to me and very helpful to me. So whenever the opportunity I'm able to get back on the football field with my team, I'm definitely going to cherish that moment and I just honestly can't wait for that day to happen soon."

Barkley added, "You have to start all over and you have to teach yourself how to walk, jog, run, sprint, cut and all that stuff again. But the mental part, especially when I hurt myself, at the moment I felt I was letting all my teammates down. To watch those guys on Sundays was very emotional. But everything happens for a reason. I have to continue to work. You control the things I can control and let the rest take over."

While injured, Barkley witnessed the growing pains of a young team coming together under first-year head coach Joe Judge. But once they figured things out up front and got the running game going, Barkley saw the potential. The Giants were 6-2 when they rushed for at least 125 yards; they were 0-8 when they did not reach that benchmark.

"Very excited," Barkley said on the AP Pro Football Podcast. "Obviously things were a little shaky in the beginning of the year. ... I got hurt, they started getting things clicking and I think you saw when we got the running game going, we were very hard to beat. When you have a great running game, a great defense and a great quarterback and talent all around, which I believe we have, we can take that middle portion toward the end of the season when we played some of our best ball and start off with that, I think we're going to be in a very good place."

As for Judge, Barkley bought in right away.

"When he came in and gave his speech, he let everyone know he was about business," Barkley said. "When I first met him, I couldn't stop looking at his eyes. It was like I was talking to a sergeant. And through time when you got to see him, he got to show his personality, even through Zoom. ...

"When I got hurt, I was trying to be this tough guy and stay strong in the locker room. And then I kind of started breaking down in front of him. He looked me in the eye and told me, 'It's going to be one hell of a story.' And that's the type of guy he is. He's got your back and he's a guy that's for his players and he's a guy who is going to push you and get the best out of you no matter what."

To hear the full interview, CLICK HERE.

View photos of Giants running back Saquon Barkley.

How the NFL navigated a pandemic and made it to the finish line

The unprecedented 2020 NFL season comes to a close this Sunday with Super Bowl LV. How the NFL got here without missing any games is enough to fill a book. Judy Battista tackled the subject in a feature for NFL.com and looked at the moments, the people, and the decisions that got the NFL safely through its road to Super Bowl LV.

Below is an excerpt from the article:

[In hindsight, last year's NFL Scouting Combine was a miracle of fortuitous timing and very good luck. The carnival of hundreds of college players, media members, fans and NFL coaches and general managers -- all jammed into Indianapolis hotels and the convention center for interviews and 40-yard dashes -- ended in the first days of March. Even then, many of the people gathered there kept one eye on wild stock-market fluctuations, just as team owners and the NFL Players Association scrambled to finish negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement.

As intense as those days seemed then, they were unquestionably the quiet -- the last normal NFL event -- before the real storm hit. Little more than a week later, COVID-19 announced itself to the nation when, within hours of each other, the NBA stopped its season after Utah's Rudy Gobert tested positive and Tom Hanks revealed he was infected.

The tragedy of the pandemic has been immense and the tumult it has caused unending. The NFL was lucky to have just begun its offseason when it struck, but its schedule, and immediate future, were thrown into flux like virtually every other business in the United States.

Within days, the live draft planned for Las Vegas was off and travel for free-agent visits was forbidden. The offseason workout program, which was to have begun in early April, was indefinitely postponed.

But as schools, stores and workplaces shut down and the country largely screeched to a halt, the NFL kept free agency on the calendar as scheduled for mid-March. That was the first indication of the philosophy that would guide the league for the entire season, as it navigated the pandemic to conduct business and a contact-intensive sport as close to normal as possible: If it can be done safely, then keep going.]

NFL Network celebrates Black History Month with wide array of programming

NFL Network celebrates Black History Month with a wide array of programming throughout the month of February dedicated to honoring the iconic people, stories and events that have shaped the NFL, beginning on Super Bowl Sunday February 7.

Every weeknight in primetime during the week of February 15 starting at 8:00 PM ET NFL Network airs a three-hour block of original programming in celebration of Black History Month, beginning with a special edition of NFL Total Access on Monday, February 15 hosted by MJ Acosta-Ruiz showcasing some of the most powerful "Say Their Stories" features from over the course of the past season. Additional programming highlights each night on NFL Network February 15-19 include The Super Bowl That Wasn't, NFL 360 – Fritz Pollard: A Forgotten Man, Breaking Ground: A Story of HBCU Football and the NFL, relevant editions of A Football Life, and more.

The week of programming culminates with an all-day marathon of programming on Sunday, February 21 beginning at 6:00 AM ET, which includes the premieres of NFL 360: 2021 Black History Month Special at 8:00 PM ET and NFL Roundtables: Field Generals at 9:00 PM ET.

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