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Sideline View: Saquon Barkley's first day back


After a day off on Sunday, the Giants were back on the practice field in shells on Monday. They will practice in pads on Tuesday and Wednesday before winding down on Thursday and Friday in preparation for Saturday's preseason opener against the New York Jets.

* All eyes were on Saquon Barkley, who was activated from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. He did not participate in any of the competitive 1-on-1, 7-on-7, or team drills, but he did look quick, fast, and explosive during individual and group position drills.

Yet even Barkley knows individual drills won't indicate when his knee is ready for game action.

"I'm going to give y'all the same answer I've been giving you, and it's not like I'm trying to blow smoke or anything like that, to be honest, I don't know," Barkley said. "Obviously, you guys know how I am as a competitor. I'm pretty sure you guys know what my thought process is, but at the same time, I'm very fortunate to play for an unbelievable coach and an unbelievable organization that's actually thinking about me and thinking about the rest of my career and the longevity of my career and I don't feel forced. We have a great team here, great strength staff, great trainers who are doing everything they can and when the time is the time, that'll be the time for me to come back."

* Head Coach Joe Judge would not put a timetable on Barkley's return, but said he would consider giving some snaps to Barkley in a preseason game.

"Theoretically, yeah. Yeah, I am, absolutely," Judge said. "And to be honest with you, I've had experience with this. Look, there was a day I had to walk in and tell Josh Gordon, Demaryius Thomas and Julian Edelman, 'Hey, all three of you are going to play against the Giants in preseason Game 4 because you haven't done anything competitively in training camp.' Now, they're going to naturally look at you like you're crazy, but the intention isn't to go out there and just say, 'You just have to play.' The thing is, before you get hit in the first game at full speed when the speed does elevate, we want to go out there and just get you used to the tempo of the game, the pace of the game, get you a catch, get you hit, get the feel of being tackled. That's natural preparation. You don't want to put someone in a situation where they're just getting the gauntlet out there getting hit, but that's part of actually preparation, your body understanding and feeling the flow of how to get hit, how to fall, how to recover after that. So, am I looking to put Saquon into something that's not going to be in his best interest? Absolutely not, but at some point the doctors say, 'He's ready to play,' and if we have the opportunity to get him in at a certain point, we will. But I'm not going to press that timetable."

* Monday's practice was a bit of a ramp-up, without a lot of contact and on the shorter side without many team periods. There was competition in 7-on-7 drills. Daniel Jones was sharp and accurate with his throws, including a pass in perfect stride to Evan Engram on a deep-out toward the sideline. Mike Glennon and David Sills also connected on a few passes downfield.

*There was a competitive red zone drill toward the end of practice, with Darnay Holmes getting his hands on a pass. Kadarius Toney got the ball in his hands a couple of times in different ways during team drills as he becomes more fully involved in everything the team is doing at practice.

* During 7-on-7s, the offensive and defensive lines ran 1-on-1 pass blocking drills that were fun to watch. Andrew Thomas had some very good reps at left tackle, standing his ground on a variety of different moves from different rushers. Trent Harris had two impressive pass rushing wins. Cam Brown showed off his strength moving an offensive tackle off of him with one arm. Ifeadi Odenigbo won around the edge on a rep. David Moa also had a win rushing inside.

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