For two Giants, Monday was another step in the journey back from injury.
The team announced shortly before players took the field that running back Saquon Barkley and linebacker Oshane Ximines passed their physicals and had been activated off the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. It was an encouraging sign as the Giants ramp up for Saturday's preseason opener against the New York Jets. Although Barkley and Ximines are unlikely to play, coach Joe Judge said these next few days will determine how they split up playing time for the entire roster.
"We haven't made a final decision on it, yet," Judge said. "A lot of that will come into how the next couple of days go. That's not looking in terms of do we have to go out there and punish someone to some point, but we want to see how practice goes the next few days. I will say this, the priority for me is to treat this more like a traditional game four, and when I say that, it's more of a make sure all of the players that we really have to evaluate get an evaluation. Because of the rules this year, we have to cut five guys after the Jets game. I want to make sure that we don't make any decisions that impact our or their future without a proper evaluation."
View photos from training camp as Saquon Barkley returns to practice for the first time Monday.
Here are the standout players from a newsworthy practice:
RB Saquon Barkley
The first player in Giants history to begin his career with back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons returned to the field. He was limited to individual drills, but that didn't slow him down one bit. After saying he accomplished all he could while working with trainers off to the side, he relished the opportunity to return to the field with his teammates and attacked everything he was allowed to do. Barkley addressed the media after practice and said what most people don't understand about coming back from ACL injuries is it's not about how you feel at the beginning of the week; it's about how you finish.
"I'll let you guys in on a little secret with ACL rehab, it's not really the front of the week, it's the back load of the week," Barkley said. "Just building that callous up in your body again, taking those reps. When I mean that, not just your knee in general, it's just football conditioning shape. You can do all the running you do over there, but it's really never similar to football shape. The best example I can have is if you played high school basketball and high school football, you can play the whole football season and then go play basketball. But you can do all that running, but you're not in basketball shape. It's kind of the same thing. Just still listening to my body and it felt good today. I'm going to go in and get in a lift and continue to work on my rehab process and continue to get my knee right and my body right and the more I'm allowed to do it, I'm going to attack it 110 percent and try to get better every day."
WR Kadarius Toney
The Giants have another dynamic playmaker ramping back up in Kadarius Toney, the first-round pick out of the University of Florida. Toney took on more today and found a rhythm with Daniel Jones.
"I see a guy who's doing a good job taking it from the meeting to the field," Judge said over the weekend. "For any young guy, it's important to demonstrate that you can just hear the call, relay it, line up and play. He's been really good in terms of transferring the material within the details within the assignment, and that's been really good. I think he's a guy that, obviously we've talked about before, this guy really does love football and shows up, and just his energy on the field, the way he smiles and goes about it. Look, it's exciting for us to have all these rookies when we get a chance to coach them. Having KT out there and doing more and more each day -- he'd spent some time ramping up. We're still phasing him in a little bit but doing more and more each day. It's all been positive."
QB Daniel Jones
No one was happier to see his playmakers come back than Jones, who was on point throughout Monday's practice. But the target of his best throw was someone who has been full-go since the start of camp – tight end Evan Engram.
"I think the biggest thing through camp for me, for any position, is understanding it's a process," Jones said. "It's not being caught up in the results or trying to evaluate if it was a good day or a bad day. There's lessons you've got to learn from each day and focus on that, focus on improving here and there and not really getting into judging a day or evaluating a day or evaluating a string of days. It's about building something and trusting that process."
Backup QB Mike Glennon made two excellent throws to WR David Sills, who has been standing out this summer…RB Corey Clement had a nice catch-and-run…TE Nakia Griffin-Stewart made a nice play on a pass from Glennon.