Saquon Barkley already had a dynamic reputation as a running back heading into the New York Giants‘ 20-12 win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday, but now you can add emergency quarterback to his résumé.
During the fourth quarter, with starting quarterback Daniel Jones (ankle) and backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor (concussion) both injured, Barkley stepped up and ran the offense out of a Wildcat formation to help seal the game. The NFL’s official Twitter account took note of the moment Barkley started taking direct snaps.
After the game, Barkley said he felt like a kid again as Giants head coach Brian Daboll started drawing up plays on a whiteboard.
Here’s a transcription of the exchange above (h/t SNY Giants on Twitter):
Reporter: Wildcat quarterback? Your thoughts?
Barkley: It’s something that we practiced. I think we did it—we showed it against Carolina. So, it was a package that we had in. But it was pretty coo—like, I mean, you don’t want to be in that situation. But the way that the coaches reacted, brought us all in, started drawing it all up. It felt like you were back as a kid, back in the backyard playing football. But like I said, we had some of those packages in already. We worked at it, and we have some really talented backs and a great offensive line. We were able to have a little success with it.
Reporter: Brian [Daboll] said he actually had a grease board out—
Barkley: Drawing it up, yeah.
Reporter: You were watching him draw it up?
Barkley: Mhm. Like it was—I’m like, you were 8 years old playing with your friends. Like, on Sunday, getting ready. You know, you’re just drawing it up. I’m the quarterback, and this is what I’m gonna do and this is how we’re gonna do it and go out there. We got to some of it, but our defense stepped up big for us and we were able to get the gritty runs and find a way to get a win.
With a hobbled Jones split out wide as a decoy wide receiver, Barkley helped complete a drive that ended in a 43-yard Graham Gano field goal. At that point, the Giants had an eight-point lead with less than six minutes left in regulation. Jones finished the game at quarterback but did not attempt a pass on the last two possessions of the game.
In addition to his Wildcat QB duties, Barkley amassed 162 yards from scrimmage on 33 total offensive touches against the Bears.
Daniel Jones Aims to Play Against Packers in London
Although Daniel Jones was significantly hobbled by his ankle injury against the Bears, he is not ruling himself out for next Sunday against the Green Bay Packers in London.
“I’m gonna do everything I can to play for sure,” Jones said, per Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News.
Before injuring his ankle, Jones was tearing up the Bears with his legs. He scored two touchdowns on six carries and finished the game with 68 rushing yards (11.3 yards per rush). Through the air, Jones wasn’t as as efficient, completing eight of 13 pass attempts for just 71 yards in Week 4.
Tyrod Taylor Must Pass Concussion Protocol
While a hobbled Daniel Jones was able to re-enter the game on Sunday, Tyrod Taylor will have to pass concussion protocol in order to get back on the field. The Giants will provide updates on his status throughout the week. In the meantime, Barkley will stay ready as the emergency QB.
“When I saw Tyrod go down, I kind of realized, ‘Oh, I’m up next. I’m the quarterback,'” Barkley said after the game on Sunday.
The Giants currently have third-string quarterback Davis Webb stashed on the practice squad. He could be called up this week, if New York needs a healthy arm.