Midway through the first quarter of a 44-20 defeat at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants star running back Saquon Barkley was carted off the field with a left ankle injury. The good news, Big Blue appears to have avoided the worst. Barkley’s X-rays confirmed the former NFL Rookie of the Year did not suffer a season-ending broken bone, via the New York Post. With that said, the Giants will once again be stripped of Barkley’s services for at least the immediate future.
“My understanding is it is a standard low ankle sprain. It looks bad,” said NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. “Generally, low ankle sprains do look really bad. The ankle blew up, we saw the sideline closeup… From what I am told, he is likely out this week and then has an outside shot at the following. So 2-4 weeks is essentially the estimate for Saquon Barkley right now.”
The latest Giants news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Giants newsletter here!
Sign up for the Heavy on Giants Newsletter!
The Injuries Continue to Pile Up for Barkley
Barkley’s impending absence will mark the third consecutive season that the former No. 2 pick will miss playing time. Coming off a torn ACL in 2020, Barkley has missed 17 of his possible 37 games since a brilliant 2018 rookie campaign — the lone full 16-game slate of his career.
“I care about the welfare and health of the player, so we’ll do the best thing by him and if he’s ready to go out there and play, he’ll go out there and play,” head coach Joe Judge said of Barkley following the Dallas loss. “If there’s something we have to make sure we have to get him back to health in the course of time, we’ll do that for him as well.”
The Penn State product’s injury comes at a devastating time where Barkley was beginning to show glimpses of his pre-injury, Pro Bowl form. In a Week 4 upset victory over the New Orleans Saints, Barkley tallied two touchdowns and 126 yards from scrimmage, including a walk-off six-yard plunge in overtime.
What’s Next in Big Blue’s Backfield?
With Barkley likely sidelined, the Giants will lean on veteran journeyman Devontae Booker. A former fourth-round pick of the Denver Broncos, Booker was signed this offseason as a perceived upgrade (in the eyes of the Giants) over last season’s leading rusher, Wayne Gallman. The 29-year-old averaged just 2.9 yards on 16 carries (42 yards) against Dallas — his first extended look this season. He did notch both a rushing and receiving touchdown in the blowout loss.
Don’t be surprised if veteran Alfred Morris is en route to East Rutherford at this very moment with the Giants likely looking to bolster their depth behind Booker. Morris exceeded expectations a season ago, averaging 4.3 yards per carry (best since 2017) while serving as Gallman’s primary backup. Morris, 32, has remained on the open market since being released in mid-August leading up to the beginning of the 2021 regular season.