Could Devonta Freeman join the New York Giants and be Saquon Barkley’s replacement for the remainder of the 2020 season?
On Sunday, New York Giants fans witnessed a sight they wished to have never seen, watching Saquon Barkley go down and stay down after a second-quarter hit from Chicago Bears safety Eddie Jackson. Barkley took off his helmet and expressed frustration before he was helped off the field and eventually carted into the locker room.
After the game — a 17-13 Giants loss — NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the initial tests suggested a torn ACL for Barkley, what would be a season-ending injury. And now, Rapoport reports Big Blue will be working out veteran free-agent running back Devonta Freeman, who could be a potential replacement.
With the likely season-ending injury to Saquon Barkley, the #Giants are bringing in reinforcements. Source says they plan to visit with and workout FA RB Devonta Freeman. The former #Falcons star spent the weekend with the #Eagles and should be with NYG today.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 21, 2020
Freeman, 28, spent the first six years of his career with the Atlanta Falcons, earning Pro Bowl nods in both the 2015 and 2016 campaigns. The Falcons released him in March of this year after he hadn’t rushed for 1,000 yards in a season since 2016.
How would Freeman fit into the Giants offense?
It’s obvious offensive coordinator Jason Garrett planned to use Barkley much in the passing game, given the impressive pass-catching abilities he’s portrayed ever since he entered the league in 2018. And with Freeman, Garrett could still utilize that type of game plan and spread the field for quarterback Daniel Jones.
Freeman proved to be a productive passing-game option during his time in Atlanta, having recorded 59 receptions for 410 yards and four touchdowns just last year. He additionally underwent seasons — 2015 and 2016 — in which he respectively caught 73 and 54 balls.
Devonta would also undeniably be the best option the Giants employ when it comes to running the football. The run game is a bit obsolete now considering Barkley’s injury and the offensive line’s below-average play, but Freeman would still be more reliable than Wayne Gallman, Dion Lewis, and Elijhaa Penny, who’s more of a fullback.
The Giants could still utilize a committee-based approach at this position though, given the fact that each of the aforementioned names could provide some sort of production to this offensive unit. Lewis is additionally a decent pass-catching back, having reeled in four receptions for 36 yards in the midst of Sunday’s defeat.