Giants’ Joe Judge: Saquon Barkley ‘looks like an explosive athlete’

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley’s NFL career has hit a snag. After his record-setting rookie season back in 2018, his name has been seen more mad more on the injury report and less and less on the list of the league’s top producers.

Barkley missed three full games in 2019 with a high ankle sprain and was hobbled in at least five more. Last year, he tore his ACL in Week 2 and missed the rest of the season. His rehab this past offseason was well-publicized as was his return.

That return has not been what the Giants had hoped. Barkley played the first four games and was used in a limited capacity. His numbers were not anything to crow about.

After missing four games with an ankle injury Barkley returned against Tampa Bay two weeks ago. He had 25 yards rushing and 31 receiving, numbers any team could get from a backup role player.

Against Philadelphia last week, Barkley had another forgettable line: 13 rushes, 40 yards with three receptions for 13 yards. One of his rushes, however, was a 32-yard ramble that was a reminder of how he can change games.

“I see Saquon doing a lot of things and he looks like an explosive athlete. I’m pleased with the way he’s working and preparing and getting ready for the games,” head coach Joe Judge said on Monday.

“I’m really proud of the way he’s being a leader on the team. For a guy like Saquon, you’ve got to find a lot of ways to get him the ball. For a running back, obviously, naturally you want to hand the ball off to him as much as you can, but also with a guy like him it includes being used in the passing game and also how he can be used in different elements of the game, being an effective blocker, things he does when he doesn’t have the ball in his hands. His overall contribution to the team will be significant and that’s obviously a big focal point in terms of getting him involved in the game and letting him get the ball as many times as he can to make an impact.”

That’s all well and good but the Giants may need to see more if they are to continue to coddle Barkley, who was a controversial No. 2 overall selection in 2018. The No. 2 overall slot is not usually reserved for running backs these days. That is quarterback/offensive tackle/edge rusher territory.

The fear most experts had in taking Barkley so high in the draft has now been realized. He has suffered major injuries three years running now and those injuries have reduced him from special to ordinary.

Barkley is on the books for over $10 million this season and $7.2 million next year. It remains to be seen how patient the Giants will remain, especially if there is a new general manager in place after this year.

Related

Giants' Logan Ryan clears COVID-19 protocols, returns to team

Report: Giants' Darnay Holmes out several weeks

Baldy Breakdown: Giants' Xavier McKinney is ballin'