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Joe Judge “really encouraged” by Saquon Barkley’s return to practice

The long wait for Giants running back Saquon Barkley‘s return to practice came to an end on Monday.

Barkley tore his ACL in Week 2 of the 2020 season and opened training camp on the physically unable to perform list as he continued to work his way back to full speed. Monday’s practice represented a big milestone on that front and head coach Joe Judge said on Tuesday, via Ralph Vacchiano of SNY, that he was “really encouraged” by what he saw from Barkley.

Judge also gave some idea of what Barkley will be doing in the near future. Tuesday’s plan is for him to do more of the same as he did on Monday before slowing things down on Wednesday. The Giants will play the Jets on Saturday and then practice with the Browns in Cleveland before next week’s game, but it doesn’t sound like Barkley will do much in those settings.

Judge said he wants to keep Barkley in “controlled” environments for the time being, which may mean that he hits the regular season without any preseason game action. Barkley said Monday that he’d feel comfortable if that’s how the team chooses to play things.