Saquon Barkley takeaways from Giants minicamp, including updates on his rehab from ACL surgery

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Saquon Barkley on field with ball in hand, helmet off in blue jersey
Saquon Barkley on field with ball in hand, helmet off in blue jersey

Giants star running back Saquon Barkley is in the midst of his rehab after tearing his ACL during Week 2 of the 2020 NFL season.

Now approaching seven months since surgery, Barkley is looking forward to finally getting back on the field with his teammates.

Barkley, who's "doing well," spoke to the media for the first time this offseason and talked about his recovery, when he plans to get back on the field and more

Most challenging parts of this rehab process:

Barkley tore his ACL on Sept. 20 and then had surgery on Oct. 30. But like any competitor, Barkley said the most challenging part of his rehab was not being able to play football.

"I would say, right now and before, it's the football thing," he said. "Just missing being out there. Seeing your teammates, whether I was injured or in a brace or getting prepared for surgery, and watching the game on TV and not being able to be out there with my teammates. Even right now, Obviously I get my work done before them, but being able to watch and see them out there, and not be able to participate with them right now, those are the toughest things.

"At the end of the day, like I said, you have your ups and downs, but I think that's the biggest thing that I miss the most. Just being able to go out there and be a kid again and play football and play the sport that I love. Be surrounded by my teammates and just out there and train football."

His timeline for returning to the field:

ACL injuries -- especially for people like Barkley who are workhorses with their legs -- can be tricky and tough to come back from. The most important thing for him and the organization is for him to come back when he's ready and not to rush anything.

"You know me, I'm gonna take it one day at a time, just come in with my head down ready to work," he said.

Barkley said that he's fortunate to know that from top to bottom in the organization, nobody will try to force him back too soon, and that "it will be when my body tells me I'm ready and when I'm able to show everybody that I'm ready again."

Future contract talks

The Giants picked up Barkley's fifth year option during the offseason, so they'll be good with him and his agent for at least this next season in Year 4. But some players have made it an issue of playing on that extended rookie deal without a new contract in place.

But that seems to be the furthest thing from his mind right now.

"[New York] is a special place to be. It's an honor and privilege to be able to put on the blue and white and call myself a Giant," Barkley said. "When it comes to the contract situation, that's not even something that's crossing my mind. I have an amazing agent, those are the things that I have conversations with her about, but for me right now, the only thing I'm focused on is coming in every single day, working my butt off and try to be as ready as I can."