EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Running back Saquon Barkley and tight end Evan Engram both fully participated in practice Friday and likely will return from their injuries Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals at MetLife Stadium.
'Likely' is the operative word because though neither player is listed on the injury report, coach Pat Shurmur declined to give details about their status after practice Friday.
“He’s available,” Shurmur said of Barkley. “We’ll see if he’s back. If he is, he’ll be ready to go. I just choose not to tell you right now.”
Barkley has been out since suffering a high right ankle sprain in Week 3 against Tampa Bay. Engram was sidelined with a sprained MCL of his right knee in Week 5 against Minnesota.
Shurmur might want to be cloak-and-dagger on their injury situation, but it would be a shock if neither played, especially since the Giants have been held to 24 points and 116 yards rushing in their last two games.
Before he was injured, Barkley had 237 yards and 311 yards from scrimmage in 2½ games. He also had a league-leading 2,028 yards from scrimmage in 2018 when he won offensive rookie of the year.
The Giants (2-4) certainly would like to begin a roll by establishing something against the Cardinals (2-3-1). Even a reserved Shurmur couldn't deny the potential impact of Barkley's return.
“We’ll see if he’s back, but it’s always good when you can get a player of his caliber back in the lineup,” Shurmur said. “I think [his presence] changes things for us.”
Barkley was injured against the Buccaneers in rookie quarterback Daniel Jones’ first start, meaning the two have played only 23 snaps together. It initially was projected that Barkley would miss six to eight weeks with the injury. So far, he has missed just three games and has vowed to return quicker than expected.
“I know people call me a ‘super healer’ or whatever, but it’s a lot of hard work, and a lot of the people surrounding me for me to be able to heal."
Notes & quotes: Sterling Shepard will miss his second straight week due to a concussion, his second concussion in the first five weeks of the season . . . Barkley backup Wayne Gallman, who sustained a concussion Oct. 6, has been cleared from concussion protocol and is expected to be available.