Should the Giants hold Saquon Barkley out of the lineup against the Seahawks?

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) runs against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half at State Farm Stadium
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have been without their star running back Saquon Barkley since he sprained his ankle in the fourth quarter of the team’s Week 2 win over the Arizona Cardinals. With Barkley absent from the lineup in Week 3, Big Blue’s offense struggled to produce points and generate a rushing attack.

There is a chance — albeit a slim one — that Barkley returns to the lineup for the Giants’ Week 4 Monday night matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. Barkley is listed as a game-time decision and is “trying his best” to suit up and play.

Saquon Barkley is a game-time decision

Barkley suffered a high ankle sprain to his right ankle in Week 2 that caused him to limp off and miss the final moments of the game. After missing all of practice and the game last week, Barkley was a limited participant in this Friday’s practice.

Despite making progress in his recovery, Barkley is still listed as doubtful for tonight’s game and is considered a game-time decision. Even though he is not 100% recovered, the Giants’ star running back is determined to get back on the field as soon as possible. When asked if he should wait to play until he’s 100%, Barkley indicated he will not be waiting:

“It’s my life. I make the decisions. I love this game and I feel like if it’s good to play, go out there and play.”

Saquon Barkley via Ralph Vacchiano of Fox Sports

Considering the risk of reaggravating his ankle injury, the team may consider taking a careful approach with Barkley and sit him out of tonight’s game.

Should the Giants sit Saquon?

Barkley wants to give it a go and take on the Seahawks, but should the Giants let him?

New York is listed as a 1.5-point underdog at home against Seattle tonight. Vegas may not expect them to win, but they definitely have more confidence in the Giants this week than they do going into Week 5.

The Giants are already listed as 9.5-point underdogs for their Week 5 road matchup against the Miami Dolphins.

Would it be wise to hold Barkley out of the lineup and suit him up in a game Big Blue has an undeniably slim chance of winning? Or should the team let their best playmaker play at half-strength in a winnable Week 4 matchup?

The bottom line is, if Barkley feels like he’s ready to go, then he should be allowed to play. Every game counts and this Week 4 matchup against Seattle is crucial. The Giants have a difficult schedule coming up and this Monday night game is arguably the most winnable game the team will have for the next three weeks.

Barkley may not be at full strength, but if he can put the pads on and play, he should. He is a game-changer anytime he is on the field and the Seahawks’ defense will have to respect Barkley’s presence in the lineup if he plays.

There is no sense in holding him out of the lineup if he feels like he is capable of playing. One could argue that this game with the Seahawks is a must-win matchup. If that’s the case, then Barkley needs to play, even at half-strength.

It’s on the Giants to trust their star player to accurately assess his own health and make the decision that will help his team win without sacrificing his season. If Barkley says he wants to play, the Giants should not hold him out of the lineup; they should get ready to beat the Seattle Seahawks with their best available players on the field.

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