New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley was not with the Giants when they departed for New England for this week’s joint practices with the Patriots and did not take part in Wednesday’s work.
The star rusher was excused to attend a personal matter and is expected to be back with the team on Thursday.
This is a pivotal week for the 24-year-old, who is putting the finishing touches on rehabbing from a torn ACL suffered in Week 2 last season against the Chicago Bears that ended his campaign.
The Giants have been cautious in bringing him back into live-action, keeping him out of all 11-on-11 scrimmages and live drills so far at training camp and during the preseason.
As of now, the forecast is that Barkley will see some live-action drills this week with the Patriots, particularly 7-on-7 scrimmages against the New England defense.
Should Barkley feel good and the Giants are comfortable with where he is at, the likelihood of him suiting up for Week 1 against the Denver Broncos will only increase.
Elsewhere amongst the Giants offense, tight end Kyle Rudolph passed his physical and was given the green light to return to practice on Wednesday.
Signing a two-year, $12 million deal to join New York this offseason, the two-time Pro Bowler underwent foot surgery earlier this offseason and had been on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.
The timing could not have been better as the Giants’ depth at tight end took a considerable hit on Tuesday after they waived the injured Cole Hikutini and placed Rysen John (ankle) on injured reserve with an ankle injury.
Rudolph is expected to hold a prominent role at the position as another pass-catching tight end this season alongside Pro Bowler Evan Engram and Kaden Smith — ensuring third-year passer Daniel Jones has a litany of targets to focus on in 2021.