The moment New York Giants star running back Saquon Barkley hit the ground after scampering to the sideline, everybody knew something was wrong.
Barkley removed his helmet and gripped his right knee. The immediate fears flashed a torn ACL, and those early thoughts are most likely correct. An unfortunate injury for a player coming off a high ankle sprain, but the Giants must move forward and find a supplement at the running back position.
According to Ian Rapoport, the Giants are bringing in Devonta Freeman for a visit to see if he can be a supplement at the running back position. Freeman is a two time Pro Bowler who can act as a supplement in the meantime. While he has battled injuries the past few seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, he did tally 656 yards on the ground and 410 yards through the air in 2019. He totaled six scores, and he’s an adequate back in pass protection.
Out of six seasons in the NFL, he has tallied 1000+ scrimmage yards in four of them. I think Devonta would be a fantastic option for the Giants while Barkley heals from his injury, considering his experience and success in the league.
The New York Giants could stick close to home:
However, it is possible the Giants elect to stick with their own talent. Wayne Gallman and Dion Lewis represent two options that can fill the role. In the loss to the Bears, Lewis ran for 20 yards on 10 attempts and caught four passes for 36 yards. While he averaged only 2 yards per carry, Lewis has always been a primary receiving back.
Gallman would be the primary lead back in the absence of Barkley. In 2019, he averaged 3.8 yards per carry on just 29 attempts for 110 yards. In his rookie season back in 2017, he earned 111 rushing attempts, totaling 476 yards but failing to score on the ground. Wayne is actually a decent running back who can move the chains, but he is not a bruiser. Bringing in an option like Freeman would offer the Giants a different approach to the running game, as he can break tackles and power through.
Personally, I would like the Giants to sign the former falcon and keep Gallman as the number two back. A one-your deal won’t hurt their cap space in 2021, and it will at least improve the Giants’ chances at winning games.