Giants’ Barkley on wearing red jersey: ‘I hate it, I hate it’

New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley got his first full team reps on Thursday. However, he was treated like a quarterback. Barkley wore the red jersey, which means hands-off, don’t touch. 

While it’s for his protection, Barkley did not like it.

“I hate it, I hate it,” Barkley said about wearing the red jersey after the team’s last joint workout with the Patriots outside Gillette Stadium. “You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. I said something in the locker room today, ‘I don’t care if it’s pink, orange, yellow, whatever color is on, as long as I’m going to be able to get out there. I’m going to take some reps for my team, and that’s the only thing that matters to me.'”

Barkley passed his physical and began practicing on AugUST 9. On Thursday, Barkley, who tore his ACL in Week 2 against the Bears, took his first reps in seven-on-seven drills and then his first four in 11-on-11.

“It feels good being with the team, feels good to get a couple of team reps,” Barkley said. “It’s just fun to be able to play football again, feel like a little kid, and just taking it day by day.”

According to a press release from the Giants, Barkley caught two passes in a two-minute drill, where he had some light contact from a Patriots defender.

The fourth-year running back, who rushed for 2344 yards and 23 touchdowns on the ground in his career, can’t wait to get hit.

“I definitely want to get hit again,” he said. “To me, it’s not just the hitting; it’s just playing football. Even though I only took two reps and a couple of reps in seven-on-seven, those reps are so valuable right now and going to help me in the long run.”

When healthy, the 24-year-old Barkley is a big-time running back, which helps make the Giants’ offense more dynamic. Personally, Barkley, whose fifth-year option was picked up by the team in April, which guaranteed his salary for 2022, would like to get a contract extension at some point, and if he proves that he’s completely healthy, he will get paid. 

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