The New York Giants will be without their top offensive skill player for some time, but it looks like they avoided a major injury.
Saquon Barkley is expected to miss three weeks as an MRI determined that he suffered an “ordinary” ankle sprain in the Giants’ comeback win over the Cardinals on Sunday, ESPN reported. With the timetable, Barkley could avoid a stint on injured reserve, but he’ll reportedly miss Thursday’s game against the 49ers in San Francisco.
The two-time Pro Bowl running back suffered the injury on the Giants’ second-to-last offensive play of the game, which helped set them up to kick a game-winning field goal with 19 seconds left. The injury to Barkley lessened some of the joy of the Giants’ dramatic win, coming back from a 28-7 deficit in the second half to pull off the victory. Barkley was clearly in pain when he suffered the injury on a 2-yard run, limping off the field before going on a cart to go to the X-ray room.
Barkley’s X-rays came back negative and there was initial hope that he didn’t suffer a major ankle injury.
“I’m hopeful, having talked to him this morning before he went to get further tests, but I don’t want to speculate until I have the full information,” Brian Daboll told reporters earlier Monday.
Barkley played a major role in the Giants’ comeback, scoring two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving). He rushed for 63 yards on 3.7 yards per carry while catching six passes for 29 yards.
Beyond Thursday’s 49ers matchup, the Giants have three more games in the next four weeks against teams that made the playoffs last season. They host the Seahawks in Week 4 before hitting the road for matchups against the Dolphins and Bills in Weeks 6 and 7, respectively.
Daniel Jones leads Giants on a game-winning drive vs. Cardinals capped off by Graham Gano’s 34-yard field goal
Barkley had a bounce-back season in 2022, rushing for 1,312 yards and recording 338 receiving yards. He scored 10 touchdowns as well, proving to be a vital piece to the Giants’ surprise playoff season.
The injury to Barkley resurfaced concerns about his contract situation. The No. 2 pick of the 2018 NFL Draft received the franchise tag over the offseason, leading to a tense offseason between him and the Giants.
The sides were unable to come to an agreement on a multi-year contract extension ahead of the July deadline, dialing up the tension between Barkley and the Giants. However, both sides agreed to a restructured one-year deal shortly after, allowing Barkley to practice with the team during training camp.
Barkley can receive the franchise tag again this offseason.
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