New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley hasn’t spent as much time in the spotlight as many expected this season. For one, Barkley has had a hard time staying healthy in his comeback year and keeping himself on the field after sustaining other injuries. And when Barkley has been on the field, his production hasn’t resembled his rookie season. In some ways, the former number two overall pick has faded into a background position for now and has been far from the star player projected to be a major part of the offense.
Barkley has also had a somewhat low profile off the field. That’s natural, of course. With his numbers dropping this season, there hasn’t been much to say other than the usual statements about needing to execute.
As of recent, we haven’t even heard that much from Barkley. The matter rose some eyebrows on Tuesday, as Joe Judge took a couple of questions about why Barkley, a team captain, didn’t appear postgame last Sunday or at the Monday press conference.
According to Judge, Barkley’s absence was no big deal.
“I can tell you for a fact after the game was over that he was getting his normal treatment and was with the trainers for a good amount of time. Between that, shower, getting dressed, we were obviously driving back on buses, there was a kind of hurried emphasis of getting everybody out of the locker room yesterday,” Judge said.
Judge was still questioned further about it, but didn’t have more of an answer. Instead, he more or less said he’d check in on the matter with Senior Vice President of Communications Pat Hanlon.
Saquon Barkley not speaking: a non-controversy?
It’s debatable whether Barkley’s absence over the last few press conferences should be controversial at all, but it does show a change from how the season started out. There was plenty of optimism around Barkley’s return during the offseason, even amid news that Barkley might not be back to one hundred percent by the start of the season. And indeed, there was also optimism about the Giants in general at that time. Few believed the offense would get worse after adding a big name receiver in free agency and spending a first round pick on one.
But we’ve reached this point anyway, and that optimism has turned into the current state of affairs: end of season speculation about which players have checked out as the Giants limp through their last few games while trying to avoid picking up further injuries.
It could mean nothing. And we probably wouldn’t have gained any new insights if Barkley did speak with the media. But that doesn’t mean the absence of the captain is a good look, and the fact that this is a story while other teams are competing in the playoff race shows how far behind the organization is right now.