Social media roundup from the week in New England
The Giants completed joint practices with the Patriots in New England yesterday.
It was an eventful few days, from Kyle Rudolph's return to practice to Saquon Barkley participating in full-team drills for the first time.
Here are some of our favorite social media posts from this past week in New England and more.
View photos of the Giants practicing with the Patriots in New England ahead of Sunday's preseason finale.
Nate Solder appreciative of past, focused on present
Nate Solder had a simple goal that was difficult to accomplish after the Giants concluded their joint practice with the New England Patriots.
"I'm trying to get off the field," Solder said. "It's taking forever."
That's because everyone wanted a piece of Solder, who played his first seven NFL seasons for the Patriots before signing with the Giants in 2018. Former teammates and coaches wanted to shake his hand or give him a hug. His wife, Lexi, and young children Hudson, Charlie and Emerson returned here to see old friends. Still in full uniform, Solder stood under a searing sun for an interview with a familiar reporter.
"It was like I was here yesterday," Solder said. "It's like nothing has changed."
But while he said "it's good" to be back, Solder insisted he wasn't the least bit nostalgic about returning to the fields on which he participated in hundreds of practices.
"I came here with the mindset that this is a work trip," he said. "There are a lot of great memories here, a lot of great people here, so it's good to see them. But it's about the Giants and getting better, and me supporting the group in any way that I can."
But it was every evident that everyone he worked with – from fellow offensive linemen to the medical staff to the members of the Patriots' communications department– were happy he was back in town.
"We had a great group of guys, but you can't live in the past," Solder said. "We can appreciate what happened. We can appreciate those that we have, and all those relationships will continue on in other facets of life. But man, I'm glad to be here and have this opportunity just to be a Giant and play ball."
Saquon Barkley takes first full-team reps since injury
Saquon Barkley was excited to practice yesterday after a one-day personal absence and thrilled to get his first few full-team reps of training camp. But wearing that bright red, do-not-touch jersey? Not so much.
"I hate it, I hate it," Barkley said after the Giants' second and last joint workout with the New England Patriots outside Gillette Stadium. "You've got to do what you've got to do. I said something in the locker room today, 'I don't care if it's pink, orange, yellow, whatever color is on, as long as I'm going to be able to get out there. I'm going to take some reps for my team and that's the only thing that matters to me.'"
Barkley took brief but significant strides wearing the unconventional color, which is normally reserved for the quarterbacks and punter Riley Dixon (kicker Graham Gano also donned a red jersey here). The Giants have brought him along steadily but slowly since his knee surgery 10 months ago. He passed his physical and began practicing on Aug. 9. Today, he took his first reps in seven-on-seven drills and then his first four in 11-on-11.
"It feels good being with the team, feels good to get a couple of team reps," said Barkley, whose 2020 season ended after five quarters when he tore his ACL in Chicago. "It's just fun to be able to play football again, feel like a little kid and just taking it day by day."
Coach Joe Judge made it clear prior to practice that Barkley would be protected while carrying a light load yesterday.
"The biggest thing we're going to do is manage his volume," Judge said. "He'll be in a red jersey. Just like guys in red jerseys yesterday, it'll be non-contact on those players, whether it's a quarterback, punter or a position player. We want to make sure we stay off of them. He's going to do some stuff on the seven-on-seven. He'll work mostly early in practice. We're only looking to get this guy 10-12 or so reps, build his volume up little by little and when that's done he'll condition with the trainers."
The Giants completed two days of joint practices with the Patriots in New England Thursday as the teams prepared for the preseason finale at MetLife Stadium Sunday.
Check out the video below to view Bob Papa and Super Bowl champion Shaun O'Hara on 'Training Camp Report presented by Investors Bank' break down Day 2 of the Giants' joint practices with the Patriots.