Saquon Barkley
AP Photo/Chris Szagola

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley wouldn’t have any issue with sitting on the sidelines for the entire preseason.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s exciting to watch Saquon Barkley play, regardless of what type of game it is. It’s even fun to watch him in practice. But when it comes to the preseason, the New York Giants running back shouldn’t see the field.

I get when the fans watch these games, they want to see at least a few Saquon runs. That’s not how it works though in the preseason. Big Blue needs their star running back healthy and rested for when the games count. As far as what the 2018 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year thinks, he definitely would like to play but would see no issues in sitting for the preseason.

“I think everyone’s different. For me personally, this day last year, I strained my hamstring or whatever you want to call it, so I missed the rest of preseason,” Barkley said this week, per Dan Benton of Giants Wire. “When I played the first week of the season and played the season last year I didn’t feel like I was out of shape, I didn’t feel like I needed more reps. I think we did a really good job with taking live competitive reps here, even though we don’t tackle to the ground.

“We have a really great defense that gives me a really good look. Do I think I need it? I think it depends on the player. Every year is different. Am I ready if I have to? Yes, my mindset every week is to prepare to get ready to go out there and compete at a high level for my team, no matter if it’s one snap, two series, one quarter or if I don’t play. If I don’t play, I stay locked in and try to be the leader that I can to keep the energy and the vibes good on the sideline.”

Barkley didn’t see the field at all during their Week 1 preseason game against the New York Jets. Instead, Paul Perkins, Wayne Gallman, Rod Smith, and undrafted rookie Jon Hilliman took the reps at running back.

The Giants play their second preseason game against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium this Friday. If I were to make the decision, I wouldn’t play Barkley at all. If it was the third preseason game? Well, maybe a little, but we’ll talk about that when the time comes.

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.