By Jaclyn Hendricks
Former Giants running back Rashad Jennings summed up his reaction to Saquon Barkley’s dominant Week 1 performance in just two words.
“Love it,” Jennings, 37, expressed repeatedly to The Post on Thursday. “I want to see [the Giants] win. I want to see them get in the playoffs. I want to see them have an above .500 record at least.”
Though the regular season is one week old, the Giants did check off a box on Jennings’ wish list following Sunday’s thrilling finish in Tennessee, where a missed field goal from the Titans’ Randy Bullock sealed New York’s first 1-0 start since 2016.
While head coach Brian Daboll earned a game ball afterward, thanks in part to a gutsy two-point conversion late in the fourth quarter, Barkley’s swift resurgence had fans in awe. The 25-year-old running back, who is two seasons removed from a torn ACL, recorded 164 rushing yards and a touchdown, in addition to six receptions for 30 yards.
Jennings is “hopeful that the world gets the chance” to see more game-day heroics from Barkley, who was also plagued with injuries during the Giants’ dismal 4-13 campaign in 2021.
“He’s a hard-working guy,” said Jennings, who spent eight years in the league before calling it a career in 2017.
“Sometimes little soft-tissue [such as ligaments, muscles, and tendons] issues can jump up on you, especially coming from college, you’re so beat up. Enter into the league, and I think you can take care of your body a little bit more. He’s probably eating right, sleeping right, doing all the little things. I think he could possibly stay away from the soft-tissue issues. He is a monster and I’m hopeful that the world gets the chance to see that this year.”
Jennings — who is behind the new sports business podcast, “The Bag with Rashad Jennings and Lindsay McCormick” — has nothing but fond memories from his time in New York, where he played from 2014-16.
“Just the fans, the city, the smell of championship,” Jennings said of his “special” time with the organization, which boasts four Super Bowl titles.
“I believe, personally, another reason why I was able to go on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ [which he won in 2017], and do all the other things I was able to do in life [is] because of that ‘NY’ on the side of my helmet. I have a tremendous about of respect, and honor them, for allowing me to play with the ball club.”
The Giants host the Panthers on Sunday afternoon.