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Giants' Barkley questionable for game vs. Lions

By Matt Schoch
Special to The Detroit News
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley walks through a drill on the field during the joint practice with the Detroit Lions on Tuesday.

Allen Park — Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley did not participate in team drills Tuesday after suffering a hamstring strain in his left leg during Monday’s practice before leaving for Michigan.

Barkley, a former Penn State star, stretched and warmed up in uniform without shoulder pads and then observed positional drills before spending time with the training staff.

Giants coach Pat Shurmur said his status is uncertain for Friday’s preseason game at Ford Field.

“It’s day to day,” Shurmur said of Barkley, the No. 2 overall pick in this year's draft. “Certainly player safety is right on the front burner for all of us all the time.

“If he’s able to go, he’ll play. If he’s not, he won’t be out there.”

Barkley rushed for 43 yards in an impressive preseason debut against Cleveland.

“He’s going to be the one out there, you get drafted No. 2 for a reason,” said Wayne Gallman Jr., among the New York backs behind Barkley on the depth chart. “That’s my boy. He’s going to start this year and we’re going to work together.”

More: Shurmur happy to be home, happier to be with Giants

More: Lions camp observations: D-line looks better vs. Giants

Catch it like Beckham

Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., another Giants skill position star, was a full participant on Tuesday for the Giants, lining up opposite a strong Lions secondary in team drills.

Beckham caught one comeback route in front of All-Pro cornerback Darius Slay and also showed off his patented one-handed catches in positional drills.

Beckham, a former LSU star who the Lions bypassed in the 2014 NFL Draft to select tight Eric Ebron at No. 10, is reportedly in contract talks that could make him the highest paid wide receiver in the league.

One of the true stars in the league, Beckham’s No. 13 jersey dotted the crowd at the Lions headquarters in Allen Park.

Brayden Lemley, 10, of Macomb wore a Beckham jersey over his Lions gear when near the wide receiver, trying to catch his notice for an autograph.

“I like how he’s really good at catching one-handed, that just sticks out,” Brayden said. “And I like how he has a catch named after him.”

More: Lions change concession prices, including $5 beer

More: Lions' Glasgow suffers leg injury during practice

Another visit for Stewart

Jonathan Stewart visited the Lions in the March as they were among the teams in the market for a veteran running back.

While the Lions went with LeGarrette Blount, the 2015 Pro Bowler with Carolina ended up with the Giants.

He’s among the players backing up Barkley, but the 31-year-old Stewart said he could also help lead the rookie as a mentor.

“Saquon is a hell of a talent and I’m glad he’s my teammate and I have an opportunity to help out in any way possible,” Stewart said. “His agility and size and the ability to move lateral like he does is pretty incredible.

“He’s a pro. He’s got a lot of things down. There’s really nothing too much to coach.”

Stewart rushed for 7.318 yards in 10 seasons with Carolina before joining the Giants this offseason for his second team.

About his visit with Detroit, Stewart said he remembers it well.

“It went good,” Stewart said. “But it was cold.”

Tigers in attendance

Seven members of the Detroit Tigers organization attended Tuesday’s Lions practice.

They were: Catchers James McCann and Grayson Greiner, outfielders Mikie Mahtook and Mike Gerber, pitchers Shane Greene and Buck Farmer, and first base coach Ramon Santiago.

Matt Schoch is a freelance writer.