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Kadarius Toney and Saquon Barkley inching forward at Giants training camp

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26)

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) defends a ball against wide receiver Sterling Shepard (3) during training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Monday, Aug 2, 2021. Credit: Brad Penner

Kadarius Toney took part in his first football activity of training camp on Monday when, after the Giants' practice ended, he stayed around to field onside kicks.

The wide receiver and first-round pick who has been sidelined by COVID-19 and its aftereffects since he reported to the team nearly two weeks ago took about a half-dozen stabs at corralling the bouncing footballs that were kicked in his direction. Head coach Joe Judge and special teams assistant coordinator Tom Quinn were with him watching and coaching him on the techniques to use for the skill.

"We’ll start seeing a little bit more of him day by day as the trainers keep allowing us to have him more," Judge said of Toney’s progression. Judge has said in the past that Toney is being eased back to the field to compensate for any lost fitness that might have been incurred from the virus.

"We trust what they say, we trust our medical team, but the focus is to get this guy involved as much as we can with football and keep building him up through training camp," Judge said. "It’ll be limited for the time being."

As for the other offensive weapon sidelined throughout camp, running back Saquon Barkley continues to go through private paces on side fields while the Giants practice.

"He’s making a lot of strides for us," Judge said of Barkley, who is recovering from a torn ACL. "I don’t want to go ahead and make any predictions or anything on Saquon, but I will say that this guy’s showing progress, tangible progress, every day with our medical staff, with our strength staff. He comes out here and works."

At one point in Monday’s practice, Barkley wandered over to drills being conducted by quarterbacks and receivers while the special teams unit was working and stood in as a defensive back trying to knock the ball away from Sterling Shepard and Kenny Golladay.

Judge had no timetable for Barkley’s return to team activities, though.

"That’s not being coy," he said. "With this injury right here, we’re going to make sure we do the right thing by Saquon and what’s better for the team and we’ve got to take a long-term vision of this right here. The doctors know a lot more about the knee, about where he is medically."

Judge did comment on Barkley’s "spirit" and "work ethic," both of which he described as impressive.

"I know he wants to be out there with the team," Judge said. "As I’ve said to him time and time again, when you’re ready, we’ll let you go. I know he wants to be out there, but we’ve got to make sure we help our players make the right decision. The goal is to get him out there and keep him out there. We know he can make a great impact for this team. We know what kind of player he can be, so we want to make sure we put him in the opportunity to go ahead and play full-speed, aggressive and confident when he gets out there."

New York Sports