EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants held their final “acclimation” practice on Monday, working in shells. The team is expected to be in full pads on Tuesday and Wednesday. Here are a few takeaways from Monday’s work.
“Tangible progress” for Barkley
Every day when the Giants practice, Saquon Barkley works on a back field. Sometimes alone. Sometimes with trainers in a group. Coach Joe Judge seems optimistic about Barkley, who is on PUP, as he works back from last season’s torn ACL.
“He’s making a lot of strides for us and I don’t want to go ahead and make any predictions or anything on Saquon, but I will say that this guy’s showing progress, tangible progress every day with our medical staff, with our strength staff,” Judge said.
How close is Barkley to being ready to go through a real practice?
“I couldn’t give you an answer on that,” Judge said. “That’s not being coy right there. Look, with this injury right here, we’re going to make sure we do the right thing by Saquon and what’s better for the team and we’ve got to take a long-term vision of this right here. The doctors know a lot more about the knee, about where he is medically. I know where his spirit is. I know where his work ethic is. I know he wants to be out there with the team. As I’ve said to him time and time again, when you’re ready, we’ll let you go.”
Welcome to the Giants!
It didn’t take new Giants offensive lineman Joe Looney long to realize he isn’t in Dallas anymore. Before the end of Monday’s walk-thru, Looney (and Daniel Jones) were running a lap. Looney was also banished for a second lap later in practice.
A laughing Looney said “Little League” was the last time he had been made to run laps.
“You know what, I loved it,” Looney said. “It’s another way to hold us accountable as professionals.”
Starting center Nick Gates ran a lap at one point, and had to hustle to finish it because there was no other center available to finish the drill with players split on two fields.
Kadarius Toney still ramping up
Judge said prior to practice that Toney, the first-round draft pick who still hasn’t participated in any team drills since coming off the COVID-19/Reserve list, was still “building up” and “we will start seeing a little bit more of him day by day.”
On Monday, “building up” apparently meant that Toney got to wear shells and a helmet. He still only rode the exercise bike or worked with trainers.
Other personnel notes:
- Blake Martinez was at practice and seemed in good spirits. He still has not technically been removed from the COVID-19/Reserve list.
- Starting left guard Shane Lemieux (knee) was moving pretty well during agility drills with the training staff. Judge said Lemieux is “more day by day than week by week” in terms of when he will return. Incidentally, Zach Fulton filled in for Lemieux at left guard on Monday.
- Lorenzo Carter, Elerson Smith, Austin Mack and Derrick Dillon also continued to work on the side. Judge said Smith had a “small setback” early in camp, and that Carter’s injury was not related to the Achilles tendon he tore last season.
- Newly-signed running back Alfred Morris was on the field, but did not practice.
Entire Giants defense, including coaches, taking a lap. Not clear what they did but Joe Judge was not happy pic.twitter.com/l8cvrYQ4iW— Dan Duggan (@DDuggan21) August 2, 2021
All together now!
Late in practice Judge was annoyed by something that happened on the defensive side of the ball, that the entire defense — coaches, too — were banished for a lap. Reports from Dan Duggan and Art Stapleton indicate a substitution error is what drew Judge’s ire.
Rough day for the offense
Aside from having to run that lap, Monday was another good day for the defense. Or, if you prefer, bad day for the offense. Pass completions were at a premium. The ones that were completed were quick, short throws.
Here’s one 7-on-7 session:
- Jones throws incomplete over the middle into a crowd. Ball tipped and nearly picked off. Uncertain who the intended receiver was.
- Jones throws incomplete on quick out to Evan Engram.
- Jones runs with no one open.
- Jones throws deep ball just out of reach of Kenny Golladay with Sam Beal in coverage.
In an 11-on-11 session, Jones threw three passes. A screen that was batted down, a screen thrown into the ground intentionally and a quick completion to Sterling Shepard.
The only real offensive highlight of the day was a pass across the middle from Jones to Golladay, who beat Sam Beal and leaped to high point the ball.
At the conclusion of practice, many fo the Giants broke up into groups to work on fielding onside kicks. Even Judge got in on the action.
Joe Judge gets an onside kick past Jabrill Peppers pic.twitter.com/1NtuekqpLy— Dan Duggan (@DDuggan21) August 2, 2021
Graham Gano sighting
The veteran placekicker has done little thus far. He took three reps on Monday during a kickoff drill, the first live action he has participated in.
For what it’s worth, Ryan Santoso went just 3-of-5 Monday during a field goal drill.