Giants RB Saquon Barkley reportedly 'close' to being cleared for Week 1

·2 min read

The New York Giants may have one of their biggest weapons back in service for Week 1. 

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, running back Saquon Barkley is "close to being fully cleared" to play against the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

Nothing is definite yet. Barkley still needs to make it through Thursday's practice with the team's approval. If the Giants staff feels good about where he is after the next four days of practice, it seems like he'd be cleared to play. 

The Giants are 2.5-point underdogs against the Denver Broncos at BetMGM.

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Barkley's return, if it happens, would come approximately 51 weeks after he tore his ACL in a game against the Chicago Bears. That injury required surgery and ended his season. The Giants weren't expected to be terribly competitive in 2020, but Barkley was supposed to be one of the bright spots. He's one of the NFL's most explosive young stars, setting numerous NFL records in his first professional season and winning the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award in 2018. 

After playing just two games in 2020, Barkley will get to start with a clean slate in 2021 as he attempts to recapture the form he had in 2018. We don't know yet how the Giants plan to use him — whether they'll ease him into a full-game workload or just take the cover off and let him fly — but either way, it'll be great to have one of the NFL's most exciting players back on the field. 

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