Giants' Joe Judge hopeful Saquon Barkley, Andrew Thomas will return after bye week

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Saquon Barkley points after TD in New Orleans
Saquon Barkley points after TD in New Orleans

Giants head coach Joe Judge enters the bye week on a high note following the win over the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday. But, as he looks down the line to his next opponent -- Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- he is hoping some offensive reinforcements will be back in time.

Specifically, Saquon Barkley and Andrew Thomas is who he discussed on Monday with reporters.

"I’d say for both guys, based on the conversations I’ve had today with trainers, I’m hopeful that we’d be able to have both guys back for Tampa. I think we got to give them an opportunity this week [at practice]," Judge explained.

Both players' situations are different, though. For Barkley, he had to deal with a COVID-19 positive test scare that ended up being a false positive this past week. But, because he wasn't allowed to practice under the league's COVID protocol, he was at home awaiting his next phase of testing.

That phase is likely getting on the field to test his ankle injury he sustained against the Dallas Cowboys back in Week 5.

"Saquon’s obviously been out of the building for the better part of a week and that’s unfortunate because it was something he was pushing for and really getting back on the field for us," Judge said. "So would like to get him out there and make sure we check his conditioning, football movements and all that stuff and get going forward with it and make sure he’s good to get back on the field.”

As for Thomas, he was already dealing with a foot injury when he got hurt against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 6 at MetLife Stadium.

"He obviously got rolled up pretty good against the Rams," said Judge. "So he was placed on IR. This would be an opportunity to come out of that IR situation and be available. Wil get him on the field tomorrow and have him do some things with the trainers in terms of seeing him move around and may open up a window for him to get out there a little more on Wednesday and do some things in practice with us.”

Having your starting left tackle and running back return would be a huge upgrade for any team. For these Giants that have kept it close, mainly because of defensive production, it's even more imperative for these two to return, giving New York all their best players to make a potential playoff push.