saquon barkley giants
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

While rehabbing from a 2020 torn ACL, star running back Saquon Barkley believes the Giants could be “great” next season.

Even with Saquon Barkley on the sidelines due to a season-ending torn ACL that occurred in Week 2, the Giants looked like an improved ballclub in 2020. The players seemingly played hard for rookie head coach Joe Judge and the defense performed with more intensity than it had in years.

Because of this on-field development, Barkley is motivated that his team can reach new heights when he’s back in 2021.

“At the end of the year we were able to put ourselves in a position to play for a playoff game, and we had to win the [Week 17] game [against the Cowboys] to make it to the playoffs. We did that. We did what we needed to do there” Barkley said on the latest episode of “The Peter King Podcast.” “Unfortunately the Washington Football Team were able to beat the Eagles, and we were kicked out. So we gotta learn from that moment that we’ve gotta go back and have an amazing offseason and when the start of the season happens, we start off the season so much better so that we’re not in that position.”

“But I think it shows so much talent, so much growth in our team, what we have,” he added. “With the offensive line coming together, Daniel Jones playing really well, our defense playing lights out, I think that started showing throughout the season. And I believe hopefully I can come back and be not just who I was before but even better. And [Dave Gettleman] and Joe [Judge] and all those guys are gonna add some more pieces; I think we can really be a great team next year, in my opinion.”

There are a number of spots the Giants need to fix though. After all, it wasn’t all peaches and cream for the six-win ballclub. The offense was 31st in both total yards and scoring, and there were times throughout the season in which the offensive line wasn’t perfect whatsoever.

The receiving corps, tight end position, and starting corner role opposite James Bradberry need to be points of emphasis when the free agency and draft periods come along.

But in spite of the alterations that must be made in the offseason, Barkley isn’t wrong about the overall potential. The Giants look as if they’re finally in the position to be a darkhorse playoff team, and with Saquon returning, a postseason berth could be on the horizon.

So when is the soon-to-be fourth-year running back actually going to return to the field?

Well, we don’t know exactly, and the man himself isn’t making any sort of premature announcement in regard to that eventual occurrence.

While appearing on the “AP Pro Football Podcast,” Barkley didn’t set a date but noted he “can’t wait for that day to happen soon.”

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