Saquon Barkley continues on his path back to the field following an ACL tear suffered early in the 2020 season, but he's not yet at the point where he can place a target on when he'll return.
Barkley appeared on the Rich Eisen Show on Thursday and expertly dodged multiple questions about when exactly he might be ready to play in 2021. The running back relied on the tried and true motto of "taking it day by day" and sprinkling in a dash of "trying to get one percent better every single day."
That's far from definitive, so Eisen dug deeper by asking Barkley if he might end up on the physically unable to perform list. Barkley bobbed and weaved, floating like a butterfly but choosing to avoid stinging like a bee.
"I think I know better than that," Barkley said when prompted to speak about his injury. "I've been in the NFL for a little bit now. I think I learned a thing or two."
Barkley has relied on "listening to my body" for at least a month now when asked about his status in his recovery and rehab process. So far, his body isn't telling him enough for him to make a declaration beyond continuing to take it a day at a time.
The Giants are hoping he'll be ready to go by the time the 2021 season begins, because they'll need his contributions if they hope to contend for the NFC East title in 2021. Daniel Jones is entering a pivotal season as well, and having Barkley lining up alongside him will only improve their chances.
For now, though, it's merely that: a hope. With training camp still weeks away, Barkley has some time left to continue on his rehab path. By the time August ends, we should have a better idea of where he stands.
That, of course, is not enough to make a headline out of an interview, so Eisen continued his attempt to pull a legitimate answer out of Barkley, turning to fantasy football for a potential peek into where the running back stands on July 8. Eisen asked Barkley if he should feel confident about taking Barkley at the top of a fantasy draft, and the running back responded with ambiguous confidence.
"If I was a betting man, I was told the best thing to do is bet on yourself, so why not?" Barkley said.
Eisen pressed him further, telling Barkley he'd select him with the No. 1 overall pick and "enjoy it immensely." Barkley gave him what can be interpreted as a thumbs up.
"I believe so," Barkley said. "I know so."
All we know for now is what we don't know about Barkley's status. Check back in a month to see if we've gained any ground on the subject.