Saquon Barkley needs to face contact – not get crunched and land underneath a pile of bodies.
So, Barkley is one of a handful of key Giants who will not play Saturday in the final game of the preseason against the Patriots. It’s no real surprise given the cautious approach taken with Barkley all training camp, but coach Joe Judge opened the door to the possibility earlier this week when he said Barkley needs to absorb a hit at a live tempo sometime before the regular season.
“We will dress him, he’ll go through warm-ups and ramp up,” Judge said. “Going forward into the season, the focus will be gearing him to as much 11-on-11 as we can get within our own team.
‘We’ll put him in some situations where he has to just go out there and react. That’s really the biggest test physically coming off any injury – when you are on the field, the reactionary quickness and suddenness you have to play with.”
Barkley debuted in 11-on-11 drills wearing a red no-contact jersey Thursday during joint practices against the Patriots. He was in the same blue jersey as the rest of the offense during Friday’s walk-through periods.
Wide receiver Kenny Golladay and tight end Kyle Rudolph also were ruled out of the preseason finale. Wide receiver Kadarius Toney, left guard Shane Lemieux, cornerback Adoree Jackson and defensive tackle Danny Shelton are notable players unlikely to play.
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