Labor Day provided good news for the New York Giants: Saquon Barkley is nearly ready.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Barkley is close to being fully cleared and gearing up to play Sunday versus the Denver Broncos, per sources close to the situation.
The star running back suffered a torn ACL in Week 2 last season. Despite the tear occurring nearly a year before the 2021 season kicks off, there had been questions about whether Barkley would be fully healthy to begin the campaign.
Both the Giants and Barkley have been cautious. Most players declare themselves ready to play, usually boasting they're in the best shape of their lives post-injury. However, Barkley has tread cautiously, suggesting multiple times in the lead-up to training camp and preseason that he wasn't sure when he'd be fully cleared.
The closer we get to opening day, the more optimistic things have become about the shifty dual-threat being healthy to start the season.
Rapoport noted that the club needs to watch him get through to Thursday's practice without any setback to gauge how the RB's body responds to the workload.
Perhaps the Giants continue to take baby steps with Barkley in Week 1, keeping his load lighter against a very good Broncos defense and ramp up his workload each week. But the fact that we're finally having discussions about Barkley being close to fully cleared is great news for Daniel Jones and the rest of the Big Blue offense.
One of the most dangerous weapons in the entire NFL is close to being full force.