ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Saquon Barkley missed a second straight practice with a hamstring injury, but Pat Shurmur suggested he isn’t too worried about the issue lingering for an extended period of time.
“He’s working his way back,” Shurmur said after Wednesday’s joint practice with the Lions. “He tweaked it, and yeah, I’m confident he’ll be back.”
As for when, well, that very much depends on how comfortable the Giants are with his mental progression. Ideally, he might rest the hamstring and come into the regular season fully healthy, but this is a rookie who still has a lot to learn. Has he already absorbed enough to skip the rest of the preseason and be ready to contribute in the Sept. 9 opener? Eli Manning would like to see him get some more polishing in practice.
“It’s different,” Manning said of Barkley taking mental reps instead of physical ones. “Obviously it’s different going through something mentally [rather than] going out there and doing it. I think he’s shown that he knows what he’s doing. He’s been sharp on his assignments and his routes and catching the ball, all those things. But, hopefully, we get him back sooner rather than later.”
Barkley looks like he’s itching to play. He spent Wednesday’s practice watching from the side without pads. He did some stretching and calisthenics, caught passes off a machine, and was even juggling a football with his feet like a soccer ball (yes, he was using both legs). At one point he was standing far behind the other running backs in a drill and shadowing their movements.
Shurmur’s mother, Barbara, and his brother, Joe, were among a contingent of family and friends in attendance at Wednesday’s practice. Shurmur grew up in nearby Dearborn Heights and said it’s been “a long time” since his mother had been able to see him coach in a practice.
“But she showed up today, which was nice,” Shurmur said. “It was good to see them.”
WR Odell Beckham Jr. had a second straight standout day with virtually no limitations. “We still have some work to do, but I thought he has done a good job the last few weeks getting his feel back,” Manning said. “Knowing how to work guys in man, give a little extra move, and trusting his body and everything. I think he’s getting back into his own and getting comfortable on the field again” ... Backup QB Davis Webb ran the Giants’ two-minute drill with the first offense, which resulted in a long field goal attempt. First-year kicker Marshall Koehn’s kick was wide left but that was with the uprights squeezed together for practicing. The kick might have gone through regulation uprights … LB Connor Barwin missed a third straight practice with soreness. Also sitting out were S Darian Thompson (hamstring), CB Donte Deayon (hamstring), TE Ryan O’Malley (ankle), LB Thurston Armbrister (hamstring) and WR Travis Rudolph (quad).