Giants HC Joe Judge is erring on the side of caution throughout the recovery process of his team’s star RB Saquon Barkley.
“It’s still under a year [from his surgery] so I want to make sure we are very conscious what we do with him,” Judge said via Newsday. “We’re just wanting to make sure that when he’s fully ready to go we put him out there. He’s definitely been working his butt off this summer and he’s made a lot of progress and he’s anxious to get out there, but we want to make sure we make the right decision for him and the team so that when we do put him out there he can stay out there.”
Despite speculation about when Barkley will actually return, Judge reiterated that his players will not play unless they’re at 100 percent.
“Until a player can get in with our team in practice and go full speed, we’ll never ask them to go against an opponent full speed,” Judge stated.
- ESPN’s Jordan Raanan says if things go well for Barkley as he finishes his rehab, he’d return to the practice field in late August and have a few weeks to get ready for Week 1.
- Judge told Raanan the team is taking a big-picture view with Barkley and prioritizing avoiding a setback: “We’re thinking long term with Saquon; long term in the season, long term in his career. And by taking care of him individually, that is going to help our team long term as well. We’re going to make sure when we get him out there we can keep him out there.”
Rehabbing serious injuries is hard work for top athletes. But Browns WR Odell Beckham said one of the things that drives him as he works back from a torn ACL that ended his 2020 season is the real potential Cleveland sees to get to and win a Super Bowl this year.
“I came back for a reason,” Beckham said via Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot. “I feel like we have a special opportunity. I was down in Austin with Bake and seeing him a few times since then, just kicking it, hanging out. It’s just something that feels special about this team. As I said when I first got here, I wanted it to be like the Patriots. You want to win Super Bowls. I watched [my teammates] compete last year, and the one game that hurt me the most is watching Kansas City and feeling like, man, I know that I could have made one play, just something to help the team win.
“I think that there’s something special going on. There’s something special with this city. Watching the Bucs win a championship inspires you even more. Cleveland needs a championship, and I think that’s the goal, that’s the mentality in that building and that’s what I want to be a part of.”
Beckham admitted that didn’t change how grueling his rehab was, even though it wasn’t the first major injury he’s suffered in his career.
“I think people don’t really have an understanding or an idea of what it feels like, to put in every single thing, to give up offseason after offseason for hard work and then to have your season ended short for things that just happen,” he said. “For me, this one felt different. I’ve been through injuries before. I’ve shattered my ankle, had the hernia surgery, so it wasn’t the first time I had surgery. And I felt like the third time’s the charm and this one kind of balanced me out, but moreso for my mental side, me being able to reflect on decisions, myself, life, whatever it is, and make adjustments within myself. And there’s just been so much growth. I’m just in a different place, just very, very excited to be back.”
Beckham didn’t put a specific timetable on when he will return to action but he did say things are going well.
“At this point we’re just running our race,” he said. “I feel like in the past I’ve been caught up in this question. I’m just not really here for it anymore. It’s whenever I’m ready to get on the field, that’s when it will be. Whenever the team, the docs, my team, everything gets cleared, we’ll be ready to go. So whenever that is, week 1, week 17, I don’t know. Whenever we’re ready we’ll be ready.”
Free-agent DL David Irving says he’s looking to catch on with a new team after being released by the Raiders earlier this offseason.
“I’m ready to play. I want to show people who David Irving really is. I’m a fighter. I want to dominate, and it’s a different mindset. I’m feeling explosive and I’m ready for anything that comes my way. I’m ready to play and I can’t wait to play football again. I’ve done the necessary work. I’m compliant with all of the NFL’s policies,” Irving said, per Aaron Wilson.