Giants: Saquon Barkley’s ankle trending up ahead of Week 4

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The New York Giants suffered a scare when star running back Saquon Barkley came down with a high ankle sprain in their historic Week 2 comeback victory over the Arizona Cardinals, but there is hope that he can return in time for their Week 4 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.

Giants: Erring on the Side of Caution

Barkley missed New York’s Week 3 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Reports initially surfaced that the ankle injury could sideline the two-time Pro Bowl RB for an extended period of time, but that timetable quickly changed.

ESPN reporter Jordan Raanan shared Giants head coach Brian Daboll’s comments on how the franchise is handling Barkley’s day-to-day status:

“We’re doing kind of a jog-through. So don’t think he’ll do much [Tuesday],” coach Brian Daboll said. “But he’s really now in the day-to-day category.”

Barkley is no stranger to ankle infirmities. The former 2018 No. 2 overall pick has only played 16 games in two of five seasons prior. In 2019, he was sidelined from Weeks 4 through 6 with a right ankle injury and missed four games in 2021 with a left ankle injury.

In 2020, he sustained a season-ending torn ACL in Week 2 against the Chicago Bears. Though the NFC East usually ends in a tight race, the reigning NFC champs, the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys, don’t give the Giants the luxury of resting on their laurels if they want to compete for a playoff spot, but Barkley’s health comes first.

A Silver Lining For New York With or Without Barkley in Week 4

Barkley, 26, has 114 yards on the ground for 3.9 yards per carry thus far, putting him on pace for 760 rushing yards on the season. It is expected that his nearly 15 attempts per game will spike should his health hold up, putting him in line for his fourth 1,000-plus yard season.

Backup running backs Matt Breida and Gary Brightwell have seen a combined 12 snaps for 41 yards and are on deck to carry the lion’s share of snaps in the backfield should Barkley have to miss time.

Breida has averaged over 4.0 yards per attempt in both of his seasons with the Giants thus far, and with left tackles Andrew Thomas and Ben Bredeson slated to return, figure to give whichever back starts on Monday night a better chance at breaching the Seahawks’ run defense.

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