Saquon Barkley did about as much in practice without actually practicing as a player can do on Monday.
The rookie running back spent a good deal of time on the side working with trainers and ramping up his rehab from a hamstring injury that has left him day-to-day. Barkley did everything that he would have had to do on the field, from cutting and jumping to running sprints to catching footballs.
While the rest of the team was going through drills, Barkley looked as if he actually was working harder than they were.
“I didn’t notice it,” said Pat Shurmur, who was paying attention to the team, “but that was the plan.”
The next step in that plan? Shurmur was unwilling to disclose it. Barkley may be in a holding pattern until the start of the season. He’s unlikely to play on Friday against the Jets and almost certainly won’t do so without having returned to practices.
“We’ll find out,” Shurmur said of Barkley’s immediate future. “We’ll see as we go along. Let’s just say he’s day-to-day.”
Opener fast approaching
The Giants are getting ready for the Jets on Friday night, but they’re getting close enough to start smelling the Jaguars in the opener in less than three weeks.
“You take it one week at a time, but as soon as the schedule came out [in April], that’s been the first game on my mind,” linebacker Olivier Vernon said. “That’s one game I can’t wait for.”
Shurmur said he and the coaching staff also are moving toward that Sept. 9 game.
“We’re playing the Jets here at the end of the week, but this is still training camp,” he said. “So we’ll come out in pads the next couple of days and get some stuff done, not only for the Jets but also thinking ahead to Jacksonville.”
LB Connor Barwin (soreness) and S Darian Thompson (hamstring) did not practice. “They’re just rehabbing,” Shurmur said . . . With Barkley and Jalen Simmons (concussion) sidelined, the Giants signed RB Jhurell Pressley to give them another healthy body at the position. Pressley originally was signed by the Vikings as an undrafted rookie in 2016 when Shurmur was with the team. “Good runner, fast, tough guy,” Shurmur said. “He’s got some familiarity with what we do offensively so we’ll get him in the mix.” . . . The Giants also signed LB Warren Long. S Mike Basile was waived and LB Thurston Armbrister was waived/injured.