New York Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett did not offer any guarantees, but when he spoke to media on Thursday he certainly sounded like he expected to have two of his key play-makers — running back Saquon Barkley and wide receiver/kick returner Kadarius Toney — available Sunday vs. the Denver Broncos.
“Healthy and 100 percent”
Asked what he has seen from Barkley during practice, Garrett said “I think he’s done a great job to get himself back healthy and 100 percent.”
“Saquon’s a special player and he’ll certainly get his opportunities,” Garrett said. “Trust me, I was on the other side with this guy and he’s one of those dynamic players, both in the running game and in the passing game. He’s one of those players who can make a three-yard run and a four-yard run and a two-yard and a one-yard run, and then he catches a screen and goes for 65 yards. We’ve lived that trying to stop him, so it’s great to have him on our side and, again, we’ll try to give him opportunities. He’s worked really, really hard to get back, to come back from a serious injury. He’s done a great job and demonstrated great leadership about how you respond to adversity.”
“Specific and purposeful”
Garrett made it seem as though the Giants would not look to Toney to be capable of handling full-time duty or the entire playbook at this point. He also, though, made it seem as if Toney is part of Sunday’s plan.
“There’s certainly things you want him to be able to do and Kadarius missed a lot of time in training camp, so you want to be specific and purposeful with what you ask him to do,” Garrett said. “But that’s really the same for any of the guys that we have.”
On Andrew Thomas and handling adversity ...
“I think Andrew’s done a really good job in his progression as a player. Obviously, it’s a really challenging position to play in the NFL, left tackle, and you go against the best rushers every week. If you reflect back on the early part of the season last year with no preseason games and kind of a crazy training camp, he’s going against the (Former Steelers Outside Linebacker) Bud Duprees and the (Steelers Outside Linebacker) T.J. Watts, (Bears Outside Linebacker) Khalil Mack and (Bears Outside Linebacker) Robert Quinn and all those guys early on and it was like, ‘wow, what is this?’ But I thought he settled in. Mid-year, he started to settle in, and I thought he regained his confidence and started playing better and better. He’s continued to do that here in training camp and through the preseason.
“You said it, it’s the most important part of any position in football, particularly that one – those guys are really good. They’re going to have success. How do you respond to the adversity that you have? You’ve got to come back, and I think he’s doing that better and better.”
On former Bronco Devontae Booker ...
“Devontae has done a really good job for us. We liked him a lot in the free agency process. I really liked him coming out of school. I think he’s demonstrated that he can be a complete back in the NFL when he’s given opportunities. I think he’s picked up our system well. He can certainly run the ball inside and outside. He can pass protect. He can run routes. He can really do anything we ask him to do. So, he’s off to a good start and he’ll get opportunities as the season goes on.”