Mon Aug 12 4:26pm ET
By TOM CANAVAN
AP Sports Writer
New York Giants NFL football player Saquon Barkley talks to the media after practice in East Rutherford, N.J., Monday, Aug. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Tom Canavan)
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Saquon Barkley has no problem watching preseason games from the sidelines, if that's what New York Giants coach Pat Shurmur wants.
While in uniform, the NFL offensive rookie of the year last season was a spectator and cheerleader for the Giants' 31-22 victory over the Jets on Thursday.
Speaking to the media Monday after practice, Barkley shrugged off his role as a non-participant. He is getting a lot of work every day in practice. He's been a halfback long enough to know how to run the ball. And he certainly doesn't need to get hit to get ready for the season opener at Dallas on Sept. 8.
If last season is any indication, the second pick overall is going to be hit around 400 times this season. He carried the ball 261 times for 1,307 yards and was targeted for passes 121 times, catching 91. That's 382 times he was a target and doesn't take into account either the times he has to block or when he is hit while carrying out a fake.
Still, Barkley would not object to playing in the preseason.
''If you know anything about me, or if you ask my teammates, I love the game of football,'' the Penn State product said. ''Any opportunity that you get to play. Every single day we stop, and we mention, especially in the RB group, how big of a blessing it is to come out here and play the sport that you love.''
Barkley spoke to Shurmur after being told he was not going to play in the opener and was told there is a plan. Neither he nor Shurmur discussed it.
''I'll let it reveal itself,'' Shurmur said.
Barkley missed most of preseason last year after straining a hamstring in the opener.
''Do I think I need it? I think it depends on the player,'' Barkley said. ''Every year is different. Am I ready if I have to? Yes, my mindset every week is to prepare to get ready to go out there and compete at a high level for my team, no matter if it's one snap, two series, one quarter or if I don't play. If I don't play, I stay locked in and try to be the leader that I can to keep the energy and the vibes good on the sideline.''
Barkley showed his energy level on Thursday running down the sideline to congratulate rookie quarterback Daniel Jones and receiver Bennie Fowler after a touchdown pass.
Barkley laughed at the idea he needs to get hit to be ready for the season.
''Yeah, I don't think anyone needs to be hit. I think if everyone could choose not to get hit until Week 1 they would choose that,'' he said. ''But you are right, some people like to get that first contact, like to get that first hit. But for me, I'm the type of player that no matter if it is preseason, playoffs or the regular season, once that first play goes and I get hit, I'm fine.''
The Giants have had Barkley lined up as somewhat of a wide receiver on some plays recently. The hope is to match him against a linebacker or safety in open space.
It would be an interesting wrinkle this season, with Odell Beckham Jr. now playing in Cleveland.
However, Barkley is a running back first.
Second-year left guard Will Hernandez said the line is going to do its job whether Barkley is carrying the ball or it's Wayne Gallman, Paul Perkins or any other back.
''We always come out and we give it our all, it doesn't matter what back we've got back there,'' Hernandez said. ''Obviously, Saquon makes things a little bit easier sometimes.''
NOTES: CB DeAndre Baker is being listed as day-to-day with a sprained left knee. He was hurt in a non-contract drill Sunday. ... CB Sam Beal and WR Darius Slayton are making progress coming back from hamstring injuries. Both are being listed as day-to-day. ... Shurmur fell over his bulldog walking out the house and has a scrape on the left side of his face.
July 16th: Training Camp Preview
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook arrived at camp last Tuesday despite previously stating that he would not report unless he received a new deal. However, under the new collective bargaining agreement, the 24-year-old ran the risk of becoming a restricted free agent beyond 2020 by not showing up, something he ultimately did not want to do. Cook had a breakout season in 2019, finishing with 1,135 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground. He also added 53 catches for 519 yards and was also one of the most prolific runners after contact. He is slated to make $1.3 million if an agreement isn't reached. Nonetheless, with the team vowing to work to get a new deal done, fantasy managers can feel a bit more confident by selecting Cook in the first round of fantasy drafts for the upcoming campaign.
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has no plans to opt out of the 2020 NFL season, despite negative comments he made in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. In the interview, Beckham criticized the NFL, stating, I just feel like the season shouldnt happen and Im prepared for it to not happen and I wouldnt mind not having it. Were not ready for the season, so why are we trying to push forward?" It turns out that the interview took place two weeks ago and Beckham has since backed off on those comments after he saw how safe and sanitary everything inside the Cleveland facility has been. Beckham should be treated as an upside WR2 in fantasy drafts this season.
Las Vegas Raiders DT P.J. Hall will be released Monday, Aug. 3, two years after selecting him in the second round of the NFL draft.
Updating a previous report, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson (illness) recently tested positive for coronavirus but is reportedly asymptomatic. Pederson will continue to lead the Eagles virtually 'as much as he can' while assistant head coach/running backs coach Duce Staley will serve as the interim head coach in his absence.
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson (illness) recently tested positive for coronavirus but is reportedly asymptomatic, according to sources.
New Orleans Saints DB Chris Q. Johnson, OG Adrian Magee and RB Taquan Mizzell were waived Sunday, Aug. 2.
Detroit Lions DE Romeo Okwara was placed on the Active/Non-Football Injury list Sunday, Aug. 2.
Free-agent WR Dontrelle Inman (Colts) visited the Washington Football Team on Sunday, Aug. 2.
New Orleans Saints WRs Maurice Harris and Tommylee Lewis were released Sunday, Aug. 2.
New England Patriots RB Sony Michel (foot) was placed on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list Sunday, Aug. 2, according to a source.
Fantasy Spin: Michel probably will miss some practice time during camp because of his injury but appears to be on track for the start of the regular season. He can be considered a No. 2 or No. 3 fantasy running back if he is healhy.
New England Patriots WR Mohamed Sanu (undisclosed) was placed on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list Sunday, Aug. 2, according to a source.
Fantasy Spin: Sanu struggled after his trade to the Patriots and posted only 207 yards in eight games. He probably will be a top three receiver for the Patriots if he can remain healthy and should be rostered in most fantasy leagues in 2020.
New York Giants wide receiver/kick returner Da'Mari Scott has elected to opt out of the 2020 NFL season. Scott has mostly been a special teams contributor when active. He was active for five games last season and three in 2018 for the Bills. Scott has caught two passes in his career, for a total of 22 yards.
Dallas Cowboys full back Jamize Olawale has chose to opt out of the 2020 season. In two seasons with Dallas, Olawale has yet to attempt a rush and has caught just two passes. He has primarily worked on special teams, logging 539 special teams snaps as compared to just 232 offensive snaps (almost all for blocking). He's under contract for $1.3 million in 2021.
New York Giants DT Leonard Williams (hamstring) was placed on the Active/Non-Football Injury list Sunday, Aug. 2.
Free-agent RB Jeremy Hill (Patriots) signed with the Las Vegas Raiders Sunday, Aug. 2. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Free-agent DT Niles Scott (Bengals) and CB Akeem King (Seahawks) signed with the Buffalo Bills Sunday, Aug. 2. Terms of the contracts were not disclosed.
Pittsburgh Steelers WR James Washington was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Sunday, Aug. 2.
Fantasy Spin: Washington will be sidelined for an undisclosed amount of time, so fantasy players can keep an eye on the situation. He had a solid 2019 season with 73 receiving yards and should be a top-three receiver for the Steelers again this season. He can be a No. 4 or No. 5 receiver in fantasy leagues.
Atlanta Falcons LB Foyesade Oluokun was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Sunday, Aug. 2.
The Cleveland Browns placed wide receiver Jarvis Landry (hip) on the active/PUP list on Sunday. The team said that Landry has not had a setback and is still on schedule in his recovery. Landry is healing up from February hip surgery. Initially given a 6-8 month timetable to return, Landry will be cutting it close if he wants to be active for Week 1. If Landry is unable to start the season on time, Kareem Hunt could see added snaps as a wide receiver. When healthy, Landry is a solid WR2 in PPR leagues.
Cleveland Browns WR Jarvis Landry (hip) was placed on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list Sunday, Aug. 2.
Fantasy Spin: Landry will be limited during training camp but is on track for the start of the regular season. He will continue to see plenty of targets in the passing game and can be a No. 3 receiver in fantasy leagues.