It’s been a rough season for New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley – a decent enough start to the season was cut short by a high ankle sprain against Tampa, and ever since then, Barkley has been fighting with the injury either directly or indirectly. Not only did it keep him out for a number of games, but Barkley had some of his worst performances after coming back and appeared to still be dealing with the injury despite playing.
It brought heat on the Giants staff for not simply shutting Barkley down, and thus risking the team’s best player just to get some more appearances out of him during a lost season where the team is already firmly out of the playoff hunt, but Barkley himself was the most adamant about his desire to come back.
One by week’s worth of rest later, and Barkley has stood by that.
“I”m just going to go back to having fun. There’s a reason I’m one of the best running backs in the league, and I’m just going to go out there and do what I do,” Barkley said this Thursday. He also claims that watching film of himself brought him away from his usual style. “That’s what I’m getting back to this week. I’m going to go out there and ball and have fun.”
Barkley would reaffirm again that this isn’t the first time others have tried to change his running style – a style which has been mentioned by some as a possible concern due to Barkley’s aggressive and hard running nature, which could make him more injury prone than others.
“That’s the message my Dad told me my whole life. When people tried to change my running style in high school, so I’m just going to have fun. That’s the biggest thing, have fun and play like you’re a little kid.”
The game against the Bears might be the main deciding factor for just how much the Giants play Barkley. If it’s another struggling performance, it seems likely that the star running back could find himself on the bench more, to give him a better chance to recover before next season.
If Barkley has a big performance, however, and returns to his usual self, the Giants may just be able to say they made the right choice in granting his wish to not sit for the rest of the year to heal.