The Giants are willing to give some of Saquon Barkley’s snaps to Devontae Booker, but that’s where the timeshare stops.
The lion’s share of the carries and receptions will stay with Barkley, who has 30 rushes for 120 yards (4 yards per) and 16 catches for 63 yards (3.9 yards per) in three games since returning from a sprained ankle. In Barkley’s absence of nearly five full games, Booker averaged 3.7 yards per carry and 8.6 yards per catch.
“I don’t know that we look at anything in terms of most touches,” head coach Joe Judge said. “There are a lot of personnel groupings that you see right now where we’re using two and three running backs at a time on the field, just strategically. We have packages where Saquon is getting the handoff and Book’s blocking or running a route. We have packages where Book’s getting it and Saquon is blocking or running a route. We’ll continue to grow in those packages.”
The Giants have scored the fewest offensive touchdowns (18) in the NFL this season. It’s been five games since a running back or a receiver scored a touchdown — a span that includes all of November and saw touchdowns by left tackle Andrew Thomas, safety Xavier McKinney and fourth-string tight end Chris Myarick.
Barkley played 84 or more percent of the offensive snaps in three straight games before his injury. Since returning, he has played 75 percent, relinquishing mostly third-and-long pass-blocking opportunities to Booker.
“In terms of a pecking order, at this point, that’s not really the way we’re thinking,” Judge said. “We’re thinking more in terms of what do our players do well and how can we continue to build to give them opportunities to do it on the field?”
The Giants began a five-day stay at the University of Arizona, where they will practice to remain in warm weather between trips to Miami and Los Angeles. Arizona is not bowl-bound and so the Giants have access to offices, meeting rooms, the weight room, the training room, the practice field and more.
“They’ve bent over backwards. They couldn’t be more hospitable,” said Judge, who nearly became a head coach at his alma mater, Mississippi State, before the Giants hired him. “One thing about coming to a major college like this, these guys have just about everything you can imagine. Because of just the functionality of using it and having a larger roster, but then also the recruiting, the arms war they have to have, every bell and whistle you can possibly present to a recruit has to be visible when they come on an official visit.”
Reserve guard Wes Martin was one of at least 11 players league-wide who tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday. Martin is isolating in his hotel room, per Judge.
The Giants signed DB Natrell Jamerson, who was most recently on the Jets practice squad until Nov. 25. The former fifth-round draft pick totaled six tackles in 21 regular-season games for three teams from 2018-20.