Giants running back Saquon Barkley signs autographs for fans after practice on Saturday. Barkley was activated from the PUP list on Monday. John Munson/Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants activated Saquon Barkley from the physically unable to perform, although it’s likely the star running back will not do much immediately.

Coach Joe Judge made the announcement Monday, noting Barkley is not going to be pushed and there is no timetable to get him into a preseason game – or even play when the season opens on Sept. 12.

The NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2018, Barkley tore the ACL in his right knee in the second game of last season and needed major reconstructive surgery. The Penn State product has undergone massive rehabilitation. He started training camp two weeks ago on the PUP list, but has been on the field watching his teammates.

“We’re not going to put him in 11-on-11 or 7-on-7 at this point right now, but as we keep building him up,” Judge said. “We’ll really kind of start to get his body into the volume of practice, the pace of practice of the players out there, more football drills. That’ll be something that benefits him going forward.”

The Giants on Monday also took linebacker Oshane Ximines off the PUP list. He injured his shoulder on Oct. 4 and was placed on injured reserve five days later. He had surgery in November to repair a torn rotator cuff.

Barkley has rushed for 2,344 yards and 17 touchdowns in his first three seasons. He also caught 149 passes, including six for TDs

Tight end Kyle Rudolph and rookie cornerback Aaron Robinson, the team’s fifth-round draft choice, remain on PUP.

RAVENS: It’s been quite a couple of weeks for Lamar Jackson.

He tested positive for COVID-19 again, missing the beginning of training camp. While he was away, Buffalo’s Josh Allen – another quarterback from Jackson’s draft class — signed a big extension, raising more questions about how Jackson’s negotiations are going with the Ravens.

Now Jackson is practicing again, trying to make up for lost time while adjusting to some important new teammates.

“Just like last time probably – fatigued, if anything. I was sleeping a lot,” Jackson said of his bout with COVID. “But I’m glad to be back.”

When asked if the Ravens have talked to him about getting vaccinated, he sounded noncommittal.

“I just got off the COVID list, so I’ve got to talk to my team doctors and try to see how they feel about it,” he said. “Keep learning as much as I can about it, and we’ll go from there.”

TEXANS: Deshaun Watson returned to practice with Houston after not taking part in workouts for almost a week.

Watson reported to camp on time and was on the field for the team’s first five days of practice, participating in individual drills only. When the players wore pads for the first time this season last Tuesday, he did not participate and was not on the field.

He continued to be absent from practice until Monday when he trotted onto the field with the rest of the team. He only worked during individual drills and went into the indoor practice facility after the first five periods of work. He returned to the field near the end of the two-hour practice and watched as his teammates went through 11-on-11 work.

Coach David Culley refused to say why Watson stopped practicing with the team last week, and he wasn’t available to answer questions regarding his return Monday because he spoke before practice.

Watson’s future is uncertain after he asked for a trade in January before 22 women filed lawsuits alleging that he sexually assaulted or harassed them in March. Houston police and the NFL are investigating the allegations, but no charges have been filed.

Watson still wishes to be traded and reported to training camp solely to avoid being fined. He would have faced fines of $50,000 a day if he didn’t report.

FALCONS: Atlanta signed running back D’Onta Foreman, adding depth behind new starter Mike Davis.

The Falcons also activated right tackle Kaleb McGary, a starter the last two years, from the physically unable to perform list. McGary missed the start of training camp for undisclosed reasons.

Foreman and McGary participated in Monday’s practice.

Falcons Coach Arthur Smith said he doesn’t expect McGary to play in Friday’s preseason opener against Tennessee. Smith said he also won’t ask defensive end/outside linebacker Dante Fowler to rush back after his return from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Friday.

SAINTS: Kicker Wil Lutz has scheduled surgery to a repair a core muscle injury and it is unclear if he’ll return in time for the regular season.

Lutz announced the procedure with a post on social media and Saints coach Sean Payton said the Saints would have to work out kickers and sign a new one “at least” for the preseason.

 


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