Blue White Illustrated

September 2021

Penn State Sports Magazine

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7 2 S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 1 W W W . B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M BY MATT HERB MATT@BLUEWHITEONLINE.COM S aquon Barkley's availability for open- ing day was unclear as of early Au- gust, with the former Penn State All- American still recovering from an ACL injury that ended his third pro season in week two of 2020. Asked at his annual football camp for grade-schoolers in late July whether he would be ready for the New York Giants' Sept. 12 opener against Denver, Barkley told reporters, "We'll see." He added that he was "taking it day by day, just listen- ing to my body. Whenever I'm able to get out there, just make sure I'm 110 percent. Not just for … my well-being, but so I go out there and compete at a high level and show the world who Saquon is." Penn State fans already know who Bar- kley is. He totaled a school-record 5,538 all-purpose yards during his three sea- sons with the Nittany Lions while also setting PSU marks for career touchdowns (53) and rushing touchdowns (41) and fin- ishing second all-time in scoring with 318 points. Chosen second overall by the Giants in the 2018 draft, Barkley flashed his pro potential immediately, leading the league with 2,028 yards from scrimmage that year. He was second in the league in rush- ing with 1,307 yards and became the first Giants running back to make the Pro Bowl since Tiki Barber in 2006. Problems along the offensive line hindered him in 2019, but he still finished with 1,003 yards, be- coming the first player in Giants history to top 1,000 rushing yards in his first two seasons. Barkley's third pro season ended last September when he was forced out of bounds after a 6-yard gain against Chi- cago. In addition to tearing the ACL in his right knee, he suffered damage to his MCL and meniscus. He underwent surgery on Oct. 30. Barkley discarded his crutches after only two months, but the Giants have taken a conservative approach to his rehab and have said they will not put him back on the field until he is fully healthy. Head coach Joe Judge told reporters in June that the team is going to "make sure that we take Saquon's rehab at the correct rate for his individual body and injury. It's not a mir- ror of anybody else's injury out there. We have to make sure that we let him get it at his pace [so that he] can play 100 percent aggressive and confident and he's going to play safe and he can play effective." On Aug. 9, Barkley practiced for the first time since his injury and said he was "hopeful" that he'll be able to play in the opener. Nassib Receives Support During a recent appearance on the Brothers from Another podcast, Las Ve- gas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said he told teammate Carl Nassib, "Bro, if no one else has your back and no one else will talk to you, I will." By Carr's account, the former Penn State All-American was deeply apprecia- Giants Take Conservative Approach With Barkley's Recovery Now in his fourth season in the NFL, running back Saquon Barkley hasn't revealed a firm timeline for his return to the lineup with the New York Giants while recovering from an ACL injury in 2020. PHOTO COURTESY KA SPORTS PHOTOS PSU IN THE PROS

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