New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley made his return to practice. Barkley was activated off the physically unable to perform list and returned for the first time since tearing the ACL in his right knee early last season.

Barkley was practicing with his teammates in a limited capacity this week. The Giants’ practice follows an off-day on Sunday. It was a positive for the running back, who was hoping that he would be back to play Week 1. Barkley now sees it as an opportunity that he has over a month to get ready for the season opener on September 12.

“I guess you can say, with my mindset, I’m definitely hopeful,” Barkley said. “It’s definitely better being able to practice now than later on in camp.”

The running back was still non-committal about being back for the opener despite everything going right for him. This is the cautious approach he and the team have strategically taken over the past few months.

Barkley participated in individual drills and teaching sessions without incident. The running back ran routes for quarterback Daniel Jones and took handoffs behind the first-team offensive line, albeit with no defense.

“As [the medical staff] keeps greenlighting Saquon to do more and more, we’re going to let him do more and more,” Giants coach Joe Judge said.

Judge then spoke about the possibility of having the running back play in a preseason game before a regular season game.

“The thing is, before you get hit in the first [regular] 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,” Judge said.

Barkley agreed with what Judge said and was willing to do whatever to help the team.

“One thing for me, I’m all for whatever is going to help the team win,” Barkley said. “If that is the mindset that Coach Judge and Leigh and the training staff believe in, they want to see me get live reps in a preseason game, if they feel that is what I need to do to get myself back for whenever I’m able to come back for my team, then I’m willing to do that.”

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