“Only thing I do know that I have planned for sure, I’m definitely going to link up with [Odell],” Barkley said during an interview with ESPN (h/t ESPN’s Jordan Raanan). “Obviously Odell tore his knee a little too. I think we both need just being there. We’re really good friends. Competing with each other and pushing each other will also be good too. That’s the only thing I know for certain I will do. Everything else is up in the air.”
Barkley, 23, had surgery on his right knee back in October and has been rehabbing at the Giants facility in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
“Every year we always link up with him at some point, somewhere. Definitely going to find a way to link up,” Barkley said. “Obviously I would love to, any of those guys that are going through this injury, whether it’s Joe [Burrow], [Devin] Bush, Bud [Dupree], there’re a couple guys, any guy, I think it would be really dope if we could all link up.”
Barkley believes that being with players who are rehabbing similar injuries can he collectively beneficial.
“It’s not more of like comparing [with] each other, because everyone’s injury — they may have this or that — is different,” Barkley said. “So it’s not really more comparing or competing with each other. What I mean by competing, like competing within ourself and making sure that we’re there pushing each other and getting the best out of each other.”
Barkley and Beckham have been close since Barkley was drafted by the Giants back in 2018, and remained friendly even after the Giants traded Beckham to Cleveland the following year.
“We definitely talk, whether it is on the phone or playing ‘Call of Duty.’ Obviously probably played a little more of that than I would have liked to this year,” Barkley said. “But it was weird. I’m literally rehabbing. I remember I’m rehabbing. I’m looking up, and I’m watching. I see a clip, and I see Odell get hurt. That definitely hurt me.
“But obviously we both wouldn’t want to go through this, I guess you would say, but I think it’s very important that since we are really close and we know each other so well and we are two competitors and we think we can really help each other, I do think it’s important to really link up” Barkley said. “But at the same time, we both have to come in with the mindset of getting 1% better each day. That’s what we have to get from each other. Any way you can get it.”