What will the Giants’ backfield look like during training camp without Saquon Barkley?

matt breida, new york giants
Jan 21, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Giants running back Matt Breida (31) runs for a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles in the third quarter during an NFC divisional round game at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants will be without Saquon Barkley as they kick off training camp this week. After failing to agree on a long-term contract extension with the Giants, Barkley is expected to hold out of camp this summer and potentially sit out games during the regular season. The Giants’ coaching staff will get an extended look at the team’s backfield as it takes shape without Barkley at camp.

What will the Giants’ backfield look like during training camp without Saquon Barkley?

New York currently has five running backs on their roster (not including Barkley) after signing former 1,000-yard rusher James Robinson. Robinson enters the mix with Matt Breida, Eric Gray, Gary Brightwell, and Jashaun Corbin in the backfield.

Gray, the Giants’ fifth-round pick in this year’s draft, is an exciting rookie that could find himself playing a big role this season. Gray rushed for 1,366 yards and 11 touchdowns during his final season at Oklahoma. Under contract for the next four seasons, New York will be determined to develop Gray into a long-term contributor to their offense.

Robinson could emerge as the team’s starter throughout training camp as an experienced running back with 514 career carries in the NFL. In 2022, Robinson rushed for 425 yards on 110 attempts with three touchdowns. He also added two receiving touchdowns on 11 receptions.

Breida is entering his second season with Big Blue after signing with the Giants last offseason. He took 54 carries for 220 yards and one touchdown last season. New York re-signed Breida to maintain some depth behind Barkley. The 28-year-old rusher could be the first-team back at practice during camp with Barkley holding out.

Brightwell and Corbin are a pair of young runners on the team’s roster bubble. Both Brightwell and Corbin can contribute on special teams, giving them a path to make the final roster. But they will both need to prove their capabilities as running backs to beat the likes of Breida and Robinson for a roster spot.

The Giants will likely give first-team reps to Robinson, Breida, and Gray throughout training camp. Whoever plays the best and stands out the most during the preseason will open up the regular season as Barkley’s complementary back if he does decide to participate in the regular season.

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