First chance to see how Saquon Barkley’s knee looks on football field

Saquon Barkley was back on the football field Monday running around, catching passes and even playing some defense.

OK, he was surrounded by youth football campers. Not quite the same as his Giants teammates, who will report to training camp on July 27 with the mystery of whether their star running back will be cleared to practice after missing 14 games last season and undergoing ACL surgery in October.

“I guess that’s what the theme of the summer is going to be: When I’ll be back,” a shrugging and smirking Barkley said at West Essex High School.

“No, I don’t have an answer, to be honest. Not trying to build something up. It’s a fun process, but it’s a tough process at the same time. I’ll continue to listen to my body, listen to the trainers, listen to the coaches and take it day-by-day.”

Barkley was a non-participant in spring OTAs and minicamp. It would be stunning to see Barkley in any of the three preseason games: The Giants limited his appearances in years past, anyway, because of the contact injury risk for running backs. 

But his practice load will determine his availability for Week 1 of the regular season. Barkley interacting with campers was the first chance public eyes had to see his mobility on a reconstructed knee.

“[The knee] feels pretty good,” Barkley said. “Trying to get one percent better each day and getting ready for reporting to camp. Kind of have to play it by ear. Rehab is never a straight line.”

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