The New York Giants will have to weather the next weeks without their best player. Ever since Saquon Barkley was helped off the field against Tampa with a high ankle sprain, there’s been talk of how the team is going to step up – obviously, it helps that rookie quarterback Daniel Jones has had a quick rise, but the team still needs a running game. They can’t rely on Jones to do all the work, and there’s been a lot of speculation about the Giants signing another running back like Jay Ajayi to fill in for Barkley.
However, the team seems to prefer going with an in house option, and all signs point to the team leaning heavily on Wayne Gallman in the running game. Gallman, a third year player, suffered a decline in use during his second season – which happened to be Barkley’s first season in the league. But with Barkley out of the picture until midseason, Gallman has a chance to prove himself as more than just an afterthought.
“We put Wayne Gallman in there, then we get ready to go and get the offense ready to play. Thatâ€™s the reality in this league. Itâ€™s not clichÃ©, itâ€™s not coach speak. But it really is next man up. You donâ€™t cancel the games because one of your guys is not there,” head coach Pat Shurmur said on Wednesday about the team’s preparation leading up to the next game, against the Washington Redskins.
“Heâ€™s kind of a twitchy guy. He does a good job of getting it up in the hole. He has good collision balance. Heâ€™s improved catching the football. Heâ€™s pretty good with our pass protection. Heâ€™s a good all-around player, and heâ€™s going to be asked to do more,” Shurmur said further about Gallman.
Gallman had 176 yards and a rushing touchdown last season but already has a chance to surpass that, coming into this game with one touchdown in 2019 already. This will, however, be the most high pressure stretch of Gallman’s career. Barkley isn’t just out for one game but a number of weeks, after all. How the former backup responds in this situation may just decide whether or not Gallman is the long term answer for the time that Barkley is injured.