The New York Giants were hoping for the return of Saquon Barkley this week, which has been delayed again. Barkley has tested positive for COVID-19, even though there's hope he can play in Sunday's game against the Las Vegas Raiders. Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Barkley is vaccinated which means he needs two negative tests over 24 hours while being asymptomatic in order to play.
Barkley is one of several Giants players being retested this week in the hopes of playing Sunday. The Giants listed Barkley, defensive back Xavier McKinney and offensive lineman Matt Skura as not practicing due to COVID-19 protocols. Head coach Joe Judge announced 13 total positives Tuesday, but only one player, Burton Burns, tested positive after the retest.
"It will be our first time doing multiples within the same week," Judge said. "The unvaccinated players test every day. A few of them had to test for a second time today and the players who have tested positive are also going to go ahead and make sure that they're retested.
"So anyone who's tested positive is away from the team until they pass multiple negative tests right there, then they can come back in with us."
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Barkley has missed the past three games after suffering a sprained ankle in a Week 5 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. The Giants do have their bye next week, even though Barkley appeared set to return from the injury. He's struggled in five games this season, having 54 carries for 195 yards and two touchdowns (3.6 yards per carry) while catching 14 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown.
If not for the positive test, Barkley's chances of returning to the Giants this week looked promising. The same goes for wide receiver Kenny Golladay, who has been out since Week 5 with a knee injury (Golladay did not have a positive COVID test).
"I would definitely not rule either one out right now," Judge said. "Both guys have made a lot of progress. I know both guys are pushing to get out there and play with us. We have to rely on a lot of the feedback from the medical department, but I know both guys, last I heard, were making a strong case and a strong push.
"I know they're both very anxious to get back out there with the team. We're going to give them an opportunity to go out there and move around and see what they can do with the team as we go through. Today's a walkthrough day, so they'll be solely with the trainers today to kind of see physically where they're at."