Giants Rumors: Saquon Barkley Won't Participate in OTAs Amid Injury Rehab

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 8, 2021

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) is carted to the locker room after being injured during the first half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears in Chicago, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

New York Giants star running back Saquon Barkley reportedly won't be taking part in OTAs after suffering a torn ACL early in the 2020 season. 

According to NFL Network's Kim Jones, Barkley will instead be rehabbing at the team facility during mandatory minicamp.

Dan Duggan @DDuggan21

Judge didn’t provide a timetable on Saquon. Said he’s happy with how Saquon has “attacked” rehab but Judge’s comments indicate a cautious approach from the team.

Barkley took the NFL by storm in his 2018 rookie season, rushing for 1,307 yards and 11 touchdowns while adding 91 receptions for 721 yards and another four scores. The game's next superstar running back had arrived.

But 2019 was less fruitful for Barkley, who rushed for 1,003 yards and six scores while adding 73 catches for 438 yards and two touchdowns. A high ankle sprain cost him three games and limited him throughout that season, keeping him from replicating his lofty rookie numbers.

The injury bug bite in a far bigger way in 2020, as a torn ACL ended his season in his second game.

"When I hurt my knee, I'm not going to lie, that's probably the weakest moment of my life, especially in those first few days," Barkley said on the Hotboxin' with Mike Tyson podcast in February (h/t Chris Franklin of NJ.com). "I just couldn't control myself crying, asking, 'Why me? Why me? Why me?'"

That phase didn't last long, however.

"On that third day, it just hit, and it was just like, 'So what, now what?" Barkley said. "This is a saying that [running backs coach Burton Burns] is always telling me. It happened, so, like you said, adversity makes the weak weaker and makes the strong stronger. You have to pick and choose what side you want to be on."

Barkley is working hard to be ready for the start of the 2021 regular season, but the Giants are wise to take a slow and cautious approach with arguably their most important player.

Until Barkley is able to get back on the field and participate in drills and practice, look for the Giants to hand out the bulk of the backfield work to the likes of Devontae Booker, Elijhaa Penny, Ryquell Armstead and rookie sixth-round pick Gary Brightwell.