New York Giants: Saquon Barkley provides injury update

Alexander Wilson
New York Giants, Saquon Barkley
Sep 20, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) is helped off of the field after suffering an injury during the second quarter against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

When New York Giants star running back Saquon Barkley went down with a torn ACL in week two against the Chicago Bears this past season, the offense was immediately castrated. He was considered the most lethal threat, with his ability to break long runs and put points on the board at any moment. Looking back at his rookie season in 2018, Barkley played in all 16 games, recording 2028 yards from scrimmage. He averaged 5.0 yards per carry and scored 11 touchdowns on the ground and 4 through the air.

There is no question that Barkley has the ability to be one of the best players in the NFL, but returning from a torn ACL is easier said than done. Plenty of players have done it in the past and returned to have fantastic careers, notably Adrian Peterson and Dalvin Cook. However, it is different for every player, and there’s no guarantee Saquon will ever be the same on the football field.

Nonetheless, modern medicine gives him a very good chance to make a full recovery and regain his form, but it will take him time to regain his strength and learn how to juke, cut, and exercise his strengths to perfection.

Barkley recently updated the media on his rehabilitation, and all seems to be going well at this point.

“I’m doing really well in rehab,” Barkley said on the AP Pro Football Podcast. “Very lucky to have a great team around me, great trainers, great doctors. Everyone has been very beneficial to me and very helpful to me. So whenever the opportunity I’m able to get back on the football field with my team, I’m definitely going to cherish that moment, and I just honestly can’t wait for that day to happen soon.”

An injury of his nature usually takes an entire year to return from, so the expectation is that he will be prepared to start the 2021 season. Of course, the Giants will likely take it easy for the first few weeks as he regains his legs, but overcoming the mental aspect of tearing an ACL can oftentimes be the most challenging hurdle.

“You have to start all over, and you have to teach yourself how to walk, jog, run, sprint, cut, and all that stuff again,” Barkley said. “But the mental part, especially when I hurt myself, at the moment I felt I was letting all my teammates down. To watch those guys on Sundays was very emotional. But everything happens for a reason. I have to continue to work. You control the things I can control and let the rest take over.”

The New York Giants need to add more talent on offense:

The reality is, Barkley has only played in 15 games over the past two years, which might justify the narrative that drafting running backs in the first round is never a good idea. They are the most injured position, and Barkley is proving the naysayers right at this point. That doesn’t make him any less a part of this offense, as they desperately need him to return if they want to have an elite running game in 2021.

The Giants will likely allocate resources toward bolstering the offense this off-season, which should take some pressure off of Barkley moving forward.