New York Giants star Saquon Barkley is already doing work at practice as he recovers from a high ankle sprain.
New York Giants star running back Saquon Barkley is a freak of nature. The 6-foot, 234-pound back combines immense power with unmatched agility in the open field. He was one of the best running back prospects ever and lived up to the hype in his rookie season.
This season, he got off to a similar start putting up 227 yards rushing and 47 yards receiving with two total touchdowns in the first two games. However, he suffered a high ankle sprain in the team’s Week 3 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the timeline given for a return was four-to-eight weeks.
Barkley has spoken about attempting to return ahead of that timetable, and he took a big step in that direction on Wednesday. Art Stapleton of The Record posted a video to Twitter that showed Barkley doing work on the side at practice.
Significant development: #NYGiants RB Saquon Barkley stretched + working with training staff during media access. Light running, change of direction. Looks very good, like himself. Not practicing, but promising sign in quest to obliterate 4-8 week timetable for high ankle sprain. pic.twitter.com/xim3YQxqhU
— Art Stapleton (@art_stapleton) October 2, 2019
Stapleton said that Barkley isn’t practicing in team drills, but he is doing light running and change of direction work. More importantly, he said Barkley “looks very good, like himself.” Getting Barkley back would obviously be huge for the Giants given all that he can do.
Wayne Gallman Jr. started in his place against the Washington Redskins, and had a solid game, totaling 118 yards from scrimmage with two touchdowns. Gallman is a solid back and capable of making plays, but he’s nowhere near Barkley’s level.
Barkley isn’t taking contact or doing team drills yet, so a return for Week 5 against the Minnesota Vikings seems highly unlikely. The team then has a short turnaround for their Thursday night Week 6 matchup with the New England Patriots, so Week 7 against the Arizona Cardinals is probably the earliest that Barkley steps on the field in a game.
However, Barkley has shattered every (high) expectation for him so far, so he can’t be totally ruled out before that.