Pat Shurmur is looking forward to this.

“We’re 2-4 and we’re certainly going to welcome anyone back that can get healthy to play against Arizona,’’ Shurmur said on Friday.

No kidding.

The Giants are off this weekend and return to action Oct. 20 against the Cardinals.

The Giants went without Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram and Wayne Gallman — their top two running backs, top receiver and top tight end — in Thursday night’s 35-14 loss to the Patriots. The firepower simply was not there and the offense directed by rookie quarterback Daniel Jones managed just seven points.

Shurmur said Barkley has shown “good progress’’ and noted his star running back was “out there running around’’ on Friday, “so we’ll just have to see what the week brings.’’

The game against the Cardinals will make it a full month since Barkley suffered a high right ankle sprain and the feeling inside the team is this was the target date for his return once it became clear Barkley would beat the initial 6-8 week estimate.

Engram, dealing with a sprained knee, could miss another game. Shepard is in the concussion protocol for the second time this season and it is doubtful he will be cleared in time to get back on the field in 10 days.

“Listen, we’ve got a lot of really smart people that are going to advise us on when it’s best to put him on the field,’’ Shurmur said of Shepard. “When he’s ready to play, he’ll play. Then we’ll try to do everything in our power to make sure he plays safely and has a good, long career.’’

Saquon Barkley
Saquon Barkley would give the Giants a massive boost if he returns for their Oct. 20 matchup against the Cardinals.Getty

The Giants re-signed QB Alex Tanney and waived RB Austin Walter, who was signed off the practice squad Thursday morning as depth insurance. Walter, an undrafted rookie from Rice, made his NFL debut and got in for one snap against the Patriots. For that, Walter was paid $29,117.

There was no doubt Tanney would return, as Shurmur values what the career backup provides at practice and behind the scenes.

“Alex has been a huge help for me,’’ Jones said. “He’s obviously been in the NFL for a while and knows the game really well, he’s a super smart guy and someone I have a great relationship with and have leaned on to prepare and get ready to play. With him and Eli [Manning] in there, I think we’ve got a special room, a special group.’’


WR Golden Tate back-pedaled the last five yards into the end zone of his 64-yard touchdown catch-and-run, a gesture that did not get him flagged for taunting or get him in hot water with his head coach.

“I’m happy he got himself in the end zone,’’ Shurmur said in response to the back-pedal. “That’s what’s most important to me.’’


A day after saying “I felt like it was the right thing to do’’ when asked why he punted the ball away on fourth-and-2 from his own 33-yard line with 7:08 remaining, trailing 28-14, Shurmur was slightly more expansive. Slightly.

“Two scores, we had found a way to get them stopped on a few occasions, so I thought we were just going to punt the ball, get them stopped and continue to play,’’ Shurmur said.