Saquon Barkley has 'one more hurdle' before getting clearance to play Week 1 for Giants

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Saquon Barkley will helmet half off his head in blue Giants uniform
Saquon Barkley will helmet half off his head in blue Giants uniform

Giants RB Saquon Barkley, whom the team has been working back into game action at a very deliberate pace following knee surgery, has "one more hurdle" to clear before being deemed ready to play in Week 1 against the Denver Broncos, head coach Joe Judge said on Friday.

According to Judge, if Barkley gets through practice on Friday without suffering a setback, he'll be good to go for Week 1.

Barkley, who hasn't appeared in a game since Week 2 last season against the Chicago Bears, has been guarded all offseason when it came to whether he would be ready for Week 1.

But as the offseason progressed, it was clear that Barkley was on track to be ready from the outset of the regular season.

And that will be a huge boon for the Giants, who will rely heavily on Barkley's presence -- especially since his inclusion in the offense should help take some pressure off the Giants' still-blossoming offensive line.

Speaking on Thursday, offensive coordinator Jason Garrett heaped praise on Barkley.

"I think he's done a great job to get himself back healthy and 100 percent," Garrett said. "Obviously, Saquon’s a special player and he’ll certainly get his opportunities. He too can really do anything we ask him to do. A lot of confidence in him as a player."

With Barkley is close to being cleared for Week 1, the Giants should be close to full strength on offense.

Wide receivers Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney, who have been dealing with minor injuries, are expected to play. And tight end Kyle Rudolph, who just recently returned to practice, should also be good to go.

The only key offensive cog the Giants are likely to be without is tight end Evan Engram, who is dealing with a calf injury.