77° Good Afternoon
77° Good Afternoon

Putting on pads, exciting for Saquon Barkley and veteran Jonathan Stewart

Giants running back Saquon Barkley runs the ball

Giants running back Saquon Barkley runs the ball during training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, NJ, on Thursday. Credit: Brad Penner

Cross another first off the Saquon list.

The rookie running back competed in his first fully-padded practice on Saturday in which defensive players were allowed to pop him (though not bring him to the ground). So who had the honor of putting the first NFL hit on Barkley?

No one, really. Barkley was elusive enough to mostly avoid any direct hits from teammates.

That wasn’t the case for Giants teammate Jonathan Stewart, who remembered with great detail his first padded camp practice with the Panthers 10 summers ago.

“It was Thomas Davis,” Stewart said of the Panthers linebacker. “Up the A-gap, it was a power play, and no one blocked him. But after that though, I let him know that I wasn’t just going to back down. I think the very next play I came right back at him and stiff-armed him.”

A decade later, Stewart was able to see Barkley’s first carry against live NFL action. That, he said prior to the practice, made both of them excited.

“I’m definitely eager to see him put the pads on. And he’s excited to be out here with the pads today,” Stewart said. “As a running back, as a football player, there’s nothing like when you put the pads on for the first time. He’s going to experience that today at this level and it’s a big step.”

Webb not No. 2 . . . yet

Davis Webb has taken every second-team snap in training camp so far, but Pat Shurmur said he’s not officially the second-string quarterback.

“In my mind, we have Eli, and we haven’t really structured the depth chart beyond that,” Shurmur said on Saturday. “That’s probably a question that’s better for later in camp. We want to fight as coaches to be instant evaluators.”

Rookie Kyle Lauletta and veteran Alex Tanney have been splitting the reps at the bottom of the depth chart.

Giant steps

WR Sterling Shepard appeared to have some discomfort in his foot and had trainers take a quick look at it. He put his cleats back on and returned to practice but seemed to be flexing the area . . . DT Damon Harrison, who was being “eased” into training camp, participated in a few drills with the team on Saturday as expected . . . CB Donte Deayon had an interception, the first of training camp thrown by Webb . . . LB Connor Barwin dominated the Giants’ second-string offensive line, which may have given some fans in attendance flashbacks to when he regularly ruined Giants plays as a member of the Eagles.


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