saquon barkley giants
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New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley knew this year’s achievements wouldn’t be enough to make the Pro Bowl.

Last season, Saquon Barkley had a sensational rookie campaign for the New York Giants. His 2,028 yards from scrimmage led the league and his 91 receptions broke a single-season rookie record for running backs. Barkley’s efforts led to him winning the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year and making his first-ever Pro Bowl.

This year hasn’t been much of the same though. Battling a lingering ankle injury (one that sidelined him for three games), Barkley has only racked up 722 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. Needless to say, he wasn’t given a second consecutive Pro Bowl nod, instead named the fourth alternate for the NFC. Barkley isn’t upset though. The professional realizes at the end of the day that this season’s efforts just weren’t enough.

“The Pro Bowl is dope. I went there last year, it’s an awesome experience,” Barkley said this week, per Dan Benton of Giants Wire. “It’s not the end all be all. I don’t think that I was even anywhere close or deserved to be in the Pro Bowl. Not shocked at that. Congrats to all of the running backs that made it, they had a heck of a year.”

For much of the year, Barkley denied the injury was playing a part in his rough season. But recently, he caved and said it was indeed holding him back. It took a while, but he finally looked like his old self this past weekend. In a 36-20 win over the Miami Dolphins, the second-year back carried the ball 24 times for 112 yards and two touchdowns. It was his first rushing score since the Week 7 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Oct. 20.

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