Orleans Darkwa
(Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Former New York Giants RB Orleans Darkwa appeared to subtweet the Giants after a Jonathan Stewart fumble during Friday’s game.

Subtweet or salute? You decide.

During the New York Giants’ latest preseason tilt, a 22-16 win over the New York Jets, former Giants running back Orleans Darkwa appeared to take a thinly veiled swipe at his ex-employers. After Jonathan Stewart fumbled in the first quarter, a turnover deep in Jets territory, Darkwa posted a photo depicting NBA legend Kobe Bryant looking vindictive and slightly annoyed.

The timing of the photo, part an internet meme series known as Petty Kobe Bryant, coincided with Stewart’s fumble and hints at annoyance from Darkwa that he was not brought back. He wasn’t even offered a contract by the Giants this offseason when his contract expired. Despite several visits, including one with the Jets, Darkwa remains a free agent, part of the reason is certainly a May surgery to remove a plate in his leg.

Stewart, on the other hand, was signed to a two-year, $8.6 million contract in March, a month before the Giants drafted Penn State rusher Saquon Barkley with the second overall pick of the 2018 draft. The Oregon alum, 31, had spent the first decade of his NFL career with the Carolina Panthers, who made him their first-round selection in 2008. Tallying 7,318 yards, he is the most prolific rusher in Panthers history, though he picked up 680 rushing yards last season, the lowest total of his career when playing at least 13 games. His 3.4 average was a career-low.

Though Barkley is slated to be the starter, Stewart is battling with returning sophomore Wayne Gallman for the chance to spell Barkley, who has missed the last two preseason games with a hamstring strain suffered in practice. Friday was the continuation of a tough preseason for Stewart, as he carried the ball three times for a loss of seven yards.

He remains in the red for the preseason thus far, losing five yards on ten carries over the trio of exhibitions. Gallman, on the other hand, has 54 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries, as well as 10 receptions for 71 yards and another score.

After many Giants fans praised Darkwa’s attempt at shade, others begging him to come back, the rusher declared he was simply celebrating “Mamba Day”, a so-called “holiday” dedicated to Bryant, who wore the numbers 8 and 24, corresponding with Friday’s date.

Darkwa spent four seasons with the Giants, taking over as the full-time starter last season. In the Giants’ disastrous 3-13 campaign, Darkwa proved to be a bright spot, setting personal bests in all major offensive categories, putting up 751 yards on 171 carries, five of which went for touchdowns. He saved the best for last in his Giants career, scoring a career-high 154 yards in the team’s victorious season finale against the Washington Redskins on December 31.

The Giants will conclude their preseason slate next Thursday, taking on the New England Patriots (7:00 p.m ET, WNBC).

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