Giants’ Saquon Barkley out of ‘2022 NFL Superstar Club’

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At one point of New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley’s career, he was on the NFL’s A-list of superstars. That is when he was a breakout rookie back in 2018 when he led the league in yards from scrimmage and the sky was the limit.

But a lot has happened since then. Barkley has been plagued by injuries, the most serious being an ACL tear early in the 2020 season, which sidelined him for the final 14 games that year.

Barkley has also been nagged by ankle sprains and other ailments that have cost him games and limited him in many others. as he enters the fifth and final year of his rookie contract with the Giants, Barkley is no longer considered a top-tier player.

Dan Hanzus of NFL.com writes that Barkley is now out of the ‘superstar’ club but could still work his way back in with a comeback performance this season.

“Last year, I wrote that Barkley gave me pause because of his injury history and slow recovery from reconstructive knee surgery. And yet, I granted him another year in The Superstar Club because those dominant stretches in his early years with the Giants still felt recent and attainable. It’s hard to say that after a forgettable 2021 season in which the former No. 2 overall pick averaged just 3.7 yards per carry.

Yes, Barkley was trapped in a terrible offense run by [checks notes] Joe Judge and Jason Garrett (oof), but he also lacked the explosiveness he showcased before his knee injury. The version of Barkley who came out of Penn State could turn doomed plays into huge gainers. The guy we watched last fall in the Meadowlands rarely got more than what the defense gave him. Still just 25, Barkley gets a fresh start with a great offensive mind in new head coach Brian Daboll. We’re hopeful, but Barkley needs to prove himself again.”

Hanzus makes some salient points but all reports on Barkley’s physical condition this offseason indicate he’s poised for a resurgence. Daboll’s offense will put him in better position to do what he does best – catch the football out of the backfield.

Barkley has not been a great scrimmage runner in his career but the Giants have a revamped offensive line and he will likely see better blocking as well this season.

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