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Report: Saquon Barkley expected to join Giants team drills for first time since PUP activation

The Giants running back has been working individual drills to date, but is expected to join team drills on Thursday in a joint practice with the Patriots.

Running back Saquon Barkley #26 of the New York Giants runs a drill during a joint practice with the Cleveland Browns on August 19, 2021 in Berea, Ohio. Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

The New York Giants are expecting running back Saquon Barkley back at practice and in team drills on Thursday when they open a joint practice with the New England Patriots, per beat writer Art Stapleton.

Barkley was excused from Wednesday’s joint practice due to a personal matter, and Thursday will mark his first work in team drills since the team activated him from the Physically-Unable-To-Perform list. He had entered camp on the list while rehabbing an ACL tear from last year. The team activated him off the PUP list on August 9, and until Thursday he had just been working individual drills.

Multiple reports have stated Barkley has a chance to be available for Week 1 of the regular season, but his status is still unclear. On Wednesday, Giants head coach Joe Judge said, “I think every player has to have physical contact and experience the hits they’re going to take in a game before it becomes live, full speed in the regular season.”

It seems unlikely Barkley plays in the Giants preseason finale, but that does not mean he won’t be available in two weeks when the Giants open their season against the Denver Broncos. They’ll release their first official injury report the Wednesday before that game.