By Wednesday’s indication — Barkley was listed by the New York Giants as limited in practice — the answer will have to defer at least another day.
The Giants’ gifted running back is in the end stages of recovery from a torn ACL suffered in Week 2 last season. He’s been given an incrementally increased workload throughout the preseason, and responded well enough that Week 1 action remains in reach. However, his participation in tomorrow’s practice could be the tipping point for a decision.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport noted on Monday that the club’s assessment of Barkley’s readiness for the opener will continue through Thursday. A full-go Thursday practice for Barkley would be an ideal sign for his availability.
The No. 2 overall pick of the 2018 NFL draft enjoyed a brilliant rookie season with 2,028 total yards (1,307 rushing, 721 receiving). He was effective again in 2019, though he missed three games with an ankle sprain, then last year’s knee injury washed out his season early.
Others limited at the Giants’ Wednesday practice included two more of quarterback Daniel Jones‘ offensive weapons: receivers Kadarius Toney, a rookie drafted in the first round, and Kenny Golladay, who signed a $72 million free-agent contract in March. Without any of those three at his disposal last season, Jones struggled mightily. And the Broncos defense, expected to be one of the NFL’s better stop units, won’t be an ideal opener if Jones is short-handed again.
The Giants play host to Denver at 4:25 p.m. ET on Sunday (FOX).