Eli Manning: Saquon Barkley missing 'valuable time'

New York Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley has missed Big Blue's past eight practices while nursing a hamstring strain.

Quarterback Eli Manning said Tuesday that the missed work, including last week's preseason game, is concerning for a rookie, even one as talented as Barkley.

"Not concerned with Odell Beckham], just because we've got years of experience and you get a lot of reps in practice; we've had game experience together," Manning said of Beckham sitting out preseason tilts, [via the New York Daily News. "Now Saquon, that's different, just because he's a rookie and missing some valuable time. So I know he's getting mental reps. It's different than practice reps; it's different than game reps. Hopefully he can get back soon."

Beckham sat out the first two preseason games and could skip the entire slate. Given his familiarity with Manning, it's less of a concern.

Barkley has missed more than a week after tweaking his hamstring during an indoor practice on Aug. 13, and is in danger of sitting out New York's third preseason game.

Giants coach Pat Shurmur said the team likes "the path he's on" in terms of Barkley being ready for Week 1. Even with Manning lamenting his starting running back missing valuable reps, Big Blue won't rush the No. 2 overall pick back early.

Per the Athletic's Dan Duggan, Shurmur told reporters that Barkley was doing individual drills Wednesday.

The Giants have been down the soft-tissue issue with rookies before. Beckham missed the first four games of his rookie season while dealing with a hamstring injury sustained during training camp. While OBJ's strain was worse than Barkley's reportedly is, New York won't take chances.

Even if Barkley misses the rest of the preseason, the rookie's still expected to be the Giants' workhorse out of the gate, despite his absence causing consternation to the team's veteran quarterback.

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