Saquon Barkley ‘working his tail off’ for Giants return

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By the time the Giants were ready to hit the field, running back Saquon Barkley had already departed, having finished up his rehabilitation work in the morning.

Out of sight is definitely not out of mind.

“I know Saquon’s working hard and doing everything he can to make progress every day,’’ quarterback Daniel Jones said. “That’s the type of person he is and the type of worker he is. Certainly we’ve got his back and supporting him, and I know he’s working his tail off — everything he can do and doing what the trainers are asking him to do. He’s had that mindset since the second since he went down, and it’s been fun to watch him work.’’

Barkley played in just two games last season and is coming off Oct. 30 reconstructive knee surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament. He is on schedule to be ready for the start of the regular season and should get on the field in some capacity not long after the Giants open up training camp July 27. He is not participating in this week’s three-day minicamp.

“In terms of where he’s at right now, he comes in every day, he attacks every day from a rehab standpoint,’’ coach Joe Judge said. “He’s had a phenomenal attitude and great motivation, he’s been tremendously positive.

Giants running back Saquon Barkley
Giants running back Saquon Barkley
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

“We are going to make sure that we take Saquon’s rehab at the correct rate for his individual body and injury. It’s not any mirror of anybody else’s injury out there. We have to make sure that we let him get it at his pace and put him on the field, can play 100 percent aggressive and confident and he’s going to play safe and he can play effectively.’’

Rookie Kadarius Toney made several catches, mostly in the middle of the field, but was not on the field at the end of the practice. Kelvin Benjamin — looking to make the team at a new position, tight end, at 30 years old — walked off the field with a trainer midway through the session.

Running backs coach Burton Burns had to be carted off the field after suffering from heat exhaustion. The Giants said Burns, 68, was treated and doing much better. … The Giants’ three preseason dates are now set: Aug. 14 vs. the Jets, Aug. 22 at Cleveland and Aug. 29 vs. the Patriots.

Judge opened up his remarks to the media offering condolences on the passing of Jim Fassel, the Giants’ head coach from 1997-2003, who died Monday at the age of 71.

“With the passing of Coach, it’s something that makes us sit back and reflect and brings back a lot of great coaches who have been through here,’’ Judge said. “It’s definitely an honor to be in the same position as all of those coaches. I’m far away from achieving anything they have at this point. I have a lot of work to do myself, but I’m proud to be able to be in this position to have this opportunity to come to work every day and be a New York Giant and work in this great city and for this great organization.’’

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