While chatting with Rich Eisen, Barkley used phrases like “taking it day by day” as he talked about the rehab process and getting ready for the upcoming season. The Giants training camp opens the week of July 26, and they face the NY Jets on August 14 in the preseason opener.
With Barkley tearing his ACL in a Week 2 loss at Chicago, the Giants started 0-5 and 1-7 last year before winning four in a row. With the NFC East teams all having down 2020 campaigns, the Giants were actually in place to win the division at 5-7 before they lost three straight and finished 6-10.
The offense let the Giants down last year without Barkley. They ranked 31st in the NFL in total yards, 19th in rushing, and 29th in passing. Quarterback Daniel Jones had just 11 touchdowns with 10 interceptions, and no running back had more than 700 yards. Jones finished second on the team with 423 rushing yards, and the Giants moved on from both Wayne Gallman and Alfred Morris.
Barkley ran for 1307 yards in 2018 and 1003 in 2019. He missed three games in 2019 and carried the ball just 19 times last season. He has 17 rushing and six receiving touchdowns in 31 career games while hauling in 91 receptions as a rookie.
Barkley is +700 to win the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award, behind favorite Dak Prescott (+225) and Joe Burrow (+600). The Giants win total in a 17-game season is 7.5, with the over at -120 and the under at +110. The regular-season opener is Sunday, September 12, at home against Denver and the Giants are +1.
Kinley Gets to Play for Tampa Bay
In a big reversal, the US government has decided to allow Cameron Kinley to attend training camp with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers later this month. The cornerback was signed as an undrafted free agent and had the Navy’s permission to attend minicamp back in May.
Kinley needed the Department of Defense to defer his Navy commission to be able to play in the NFL, and originally he was declined. But this week, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced a change in the decision and approved the Navy’s plan to enlist Kinley in the Inactive Ready Reserve.
Kinley was Navy’s team captain and class president. With the defending Super Bowl champions not losing any players from their excellent secondary, Kinley will have a tough time making the roster. But now, at least he has a chance.
Miami’s Malcolm Perry was drafted out of the Naval Academy in 2020 and also received permission to pursue his football career. He played in nine games last season and scored a touchdown for the Dolphins.
Tampa Bay is +600 to repeat as Super Bowl champions, with Kansas City (+500) ahead of them. They have the best odds to win the NFC at +300, and they are -160 to win the NFC South. Their win total is 12 with both sides at -100, and the Bucs are -6 in the season-opening NFL game against the Dallas Cowboys.