The New York Giants are expected to be without superstar running back Saquon Barkley in their Week 3 matchup with the San Fransisco 49ers on Thursday night; or are they? Barkley was initially expected to miss at least three weeks with an ankle sprain suffered in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s matchup with the Cardinals. But on a Zoom call with reporters on Tuesday, Giant head coach Brian Daboll said that the team has not yet ruled out Barkley for Thursday night’s game.
Giants not ruling out Saquon Barkley for Thursday night
“I’m not saying that he’s out yet,” Daboll told reporters on Tuesday when asked about Barkley’s status for this week’s matchup. The Giants’ head coach said his star running back is feeling much better after taking Monday to recover from his injury.
Barkley was originally considered week-to-week with his ankle injury, but Daboll now says the team is taking it “day-to-day” with their star running back. Daboll referred to Barkley as a “quick-healer” and said he expects the superstar to be a game-time decision, according to Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post.
“He’s a lot better maybe I thought he would be or some others thought he would be today,” Daboll said of Barkley, per Art Stapleton of North Jersey. While it still seems unlikely that Barkley could play this week, Daboll certainly doesn’t want the San Fransisco 49ers thinking New York will be without their starting rusher.
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Will Barkley play on Thursday?
Matt Breida was in line to start this week’s matchup with the 49ers as Barkley nurses his ankle injury. However, if Barkley does suit up this Thursday, he will take over as the leading back again with an opportunity to build on a dominant Week 2 performance. Barkley totaled 63 rushing yards and 29 receiving yards last week, scoring a touchdown as both a rusher and receiver.
His injury occurred on the final drive of the game for New York as they ran their way down the field and into field goal range for Graham Gano’s game-winner. With just four days between their last game and this Week’s matchup, Barkley does not have an abundance of time to recover.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Monday that Barkley suffered an “ordinary” ankle sprain that should keep him sidelined for three weeks. But if Barkley heals quickly and feels ready enough to suit up this Thursday night, the Giants would have no choice but to plug the superstar back into their lineup and look to pull off an upset against the 49ers.