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New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley was initially expected to miss four-to-eight weeks after suffering a high-ankle sprain in Week 3, but the superstar has said that he’s hoping to beat that timeline.
His return will have to wait at least one more week, though, as NFL Network’s Kimberly Jones reported on Friday that the Giants officially ruled him out for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings.
Barkley has not participated in practice this week but has been rehabbing on side fields. In playing coy with the media, he’s limited his comments to saying that it feels good to be with his teammates and that his rapid recovery is thanks to a visit to Wakanda, the fictional nation from Marvel's “Black Panther.”
At 2-2, the Giants need Barkley back to have a real shot at a playoff run. But for now, they’ll continue with Wayne Gallman, who rushed for 63 yards and added another 55 receiving in last week's win.
Is it worth it for Barkley to rush back from this injury?
The Giants would love to have Barkley back, but they also need him to be effective all season. That immediately raises questions as to why they are rushing one of their most important players back two to six weeks earlier than expected.
Players returning from high-ankle sprains often lack the same explosiveness that they had originally, and they can be susceptible to aggravating that injury and missing even more time.
Barkley could also lose out personally if things go sideways upon an early return. He’s not slated to hit free agency until at least 2023, but chronic injuries or hampered numbers could cost him millions down the line.
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