Giants offense could receive major boost in potential returns of Barkley, Golladay, Thomas

Saquon Barkley Giants
Giants running back Saquon Barkley
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants offense is better when everyone is healthy.

How is that for hard-hitting analysis?

If that statement was as commonplace as it was obvious, the Giants might also be in a better position in the early NFC playoff picture rather than being at the fringe of it two games behind the seventh-place Carolina Panthers. 

But the Giants have been riddled by injuries — a Week 4 upset victory over the New Orleans Saints providing a glimmer of what could be should the majority of their offensive weapons dress. 

With running back Saquon Barkley along with receivers Kenny Golladay, and Kadarius Toney available, the Giants hung 485 total yards — the only time they’ve eclipsed the 400-yard mark this season — in the 27-21 win over the Saints while quarterback Daniel Jones passed for 402 yards and a pair of touchdowns. 

That was the last time the band was together.

Barkley exited the Giants’ Week 5 loss with an ankle injury and hasn’t returned. So did Golladay, who appeared in Week 9 against the Raiders but was only targeted three times.

Toney — the rookie who took advantage of injuries to flash his playmaking abilities — has also battled injury issues.

None of the three have been ruled out for Monday night’s primetime matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, carrying the possibility that the Giants’ offense could be as close to full strength as it’s been all season even with Sterling Shepard on the shelf.

All eyes will be on Barkley, though, as the mercurial running back with All-Pro promise has been hampered by injuries in each of the last three seasons.

“He’s trending the right way and really progressing,” Giants head coach Joe Judge said on Saturday. “The next 48 hours will be big in terms of seeing how his body responds.”

More good news for Judge, Garrett, and Jones is that second-year left tackle, Andrew Thomas, is likely to suit up on Monday night.

Thomas had taken immense leaps forward after a disappointing rookie season. He has yet to give up a sack this season while yielding just seven pressures on 201 pass-blocking snaps.

“It’s fun to get them all back and hopefully we’ll get more and more healthy as a group as we go forward,” he said this week. “I think when we do, I think those combinations of guys give us a good chance to have some success on offense.”