New York Giants Running Back Saquon Barkley Could Miss Multiple Weeks

Posted on: September 19, 2023, 02:41h. 

Last updated on: September 20, 2023, 01:29h.

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley sustained an ankle injury against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. He’s expected to miss upcoming games against the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks.

Saquon Barkley Giants
Trainers from the New York Giants help running back Saquon Barkley exit the field at State Farm Stadium after he suffered an ankle injury against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2. (Image: AP)

The Giants stormed back and erased a 21-point deficit to defeat the Cardinals, 31-28, in Week 2. Barkley twisted his ankle in the fourth quarter on the penultimate play of the game. He needed assistance off the field and was spotted limping to the locker room at the end of the game. Initial X-rays were negative.

Barkley underwent an MRI on Monday in Arizona to determine the severity of the ankle injury. The Giants insisted it’s a low ankle sprain, but video replays suggest Barkley sustained a high-ankle injury.

Barkley rushed 17 times for 63 yards and one touchdown, and also added six receptions for 29 yards and one receiving touchdown against the Cardinals.

In two games with the Giants this season, Barkley contributed 145 combined yards from scrimmage, with two touchdowns.

A healthy Barkley rushed for a career-best 1,312 yards in 16 games last season, while scoring 10 touchdowns.

Barkley and the Giants were unable to work out a contract extension in the off-season. The Giants slapped a nonexclusive franchise tag on Barkley. It looked like Barkley would hold out of training camp in a contract dispute. However, Barkley signed a tender offer one day before training camp began, avoiding a holdout.

Barkley Nursing Another Sprained Ankle Injury

Barkley has a long injury history and suffered a high ankle sprain twice in his career, in 2019 and 2021. He bounced back with a strong effort in 2019, but struggled in 2021.

Barkley went down with a right ankle injury in Week 3 of the 2019 season. He was expected to miss six to eight weeks with a high ankle sprain, but only missed three games and returned in Week 7. He played 13 games in 2019 and rushed 217 times for 1,003 yards and six touchdowns. He also contributed 52 receptions for 438 yards and two receiving touchdowns.

Barkley went down with a left ankle injury in Week 5 of the 2021 season. He missed four games with a high ankle sprain and returned in Week 11 after a bye week. He lacked his usual explosiveness in the second half of the season. He rushed for 100-plus yards only once after his injury and didn’t score any rushing touchdowns in the final eight games of the season. The Giants were 1-7 after an ineffective Barkley returned to the lineup.

Veteran Matt Breida is the next man up for the Giants. Breida has been the backup running back for the Giants since last season. During his seven-season career with four teams, Breida rushed 523 times for 2,515 yards and eight touchdowns. He also contributed 104 receptions for 844 yards and six receiving touchdowns.

The Giants also have running backs Gary Brightwell and rookie Eric Gray on their roster. Brightwell is a sixth-round pick out of Arizona from the 2021 NFL Draft. The Giants selected Oklahoma’s Gray with a fifth-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, but he has yet to see any action.

The Giants on the Futures Market

The San Francisco 49ers (2-0) host the Giants on Thursday Night Football in Week 3. The Giants remained on the West Coast after their road game on Sunday against the Cardinals in Arizona.

The Giants opened as +10 underdogs against the 49ers. The Giants are 0-2 against the point spread this season, and the 49ers have a 1-1 ATS record.

Three teams in the NFC East began the season with a 2-0 record. The undefeated Philadelphia Eagles are a slight betting favorite to win consecutive NFC East titles at +100 odds, and they’re just ahead of the undefeated Dallas Cowboys at +110 odds.

The Washington Commanders are one of the surprise teams in the NFL this season, sporting a 2-0 record. But they’re +1800 odds to win the division. The Giants are the long shot on DraftKings’ futures board to win the NFC East at +2500 odds.

In the most recent update by DraftKings, the Giants are +7500 odds to win Super Bowl LVIII. They’re +5500 odds to win the NFC Championship.

The Giants were a playoff team last season as an NFC wild-card squad with a 9-7-1 record. They have a win total of 6.5 over/under victories this season.

According to a prop bet by DraftKings, the Giants are +370 odds to advance to the playoffs. They’re a favorite to miss the playoffs at -500 odds.

Fans hope that Barkley can return to the lineup in Week 4 when they host the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Barkley is out for three weeks, but he could return in Week 5 for a road game against Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins. If Barkley isn’t ready in Week 5, the Giants battle the Buffalo Bills on Sunday Night Football in Week 6.