The worst part about Sunday for the New York Giants wasn’t losing to the Chicago Bears, it was watching star running back Saquon Barkley fall to the ground in pain. Just two plays before his knee evidently gave out, Barkley hyperextended his elbow and left the field for a split second.
Barkley’s return was welcomed with a sigh of relief, but it didn’t last long after jump-cutting to the right side of the field and making contact with Bears’ safety Eddie Jackson. By the time Saquon was engaged with the defender, his knee was experiencing searing pain.
Shortly after Barkley went down, he hobbled off the field and to the bench. He made his way to the locker room to receive x-rays on his knee, and early reports indicate that a torn ACL is likely the diagnosis. Saquon enjoyed four carries for 28 yards on the ground before the injury, but had a tumultuous start to the season, logging 15 attempts for 6 yards against the Pittsburgh Steelers in week one. The Giants’ offensive line didn’t do him any favors, but he started off week two, averaging 7 yards per carry.
With Barkley in his third season, he was expected to earn a massive contract in 2021. That will obviously be on hold, as he will try to reinstate his form in the NFL and make a come back from this unfortunate injury.
Should the New York Giants consider Devonta Freeman as a replacement?
Freeman is a capable NFL running back who enjoyed Pro Bowl seasons in 2015 and 2016 with the Atlanta Falcons. He has failed to remain healthy the past couple of years, rushing for 656 yards and two touchdowns in 2019. He would be a welcomed addition to the Giants, who could use a strong running back that can move the chains adequately. He’s also a fantastic receiving threat, enjoying 410 yards and four touchdowns last year through the air.
Over six seasons in the NFL, Freeman has 1000+ scrimmage yards in four of them. While he might be a bit pricey on a one year deal, he is the best option available on the market and would hold down the fort in the meantime. Otherwise, the Giants will rely on Dion Lewis and Wayne Gallman to lead their backfield, which is certainly a realistic possibility. However, kicking the tires on Freeman isn’t a bad idea, considering his past success and the multifaceted approach he brings to the game.