Barkley staying the course with rehab, pleased with progress

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

New York Giants runningback Saquon Barkley (26), celebrates scoring a touchdown in the second half of an NFL game against the Atlanta Falcons. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig).

AP

Saquon barkley, who suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in 2018, is the first to admit that he is not back as the running back who was named the NFL Offensive Rookie Of The Year in 2018.

Barkley, 24, has rushed 39 times for 134 yards in three games. He also scored a touchdown. He has recieved nine passes for 56 yards.

Barkley had reconstructive surgery on his injury against the Bears in September 2020. Although the numbers are not very good. He missed all three preseason matches and didn’t resume full practice with the team until after their final exhibition match. His status for opening day was not clear until the day.

“I hold myself to a high standard, I know this team holds me to a high standard, a lot of people hold me to a high standard and, like I always say, I set my own expectations,”Barkley spoke out after practice on Thursday. “Right now, I’ve just got to keep working and keep growing and keep improving. I know what I’m coming off of.”

Barkley stated Barkley’s parents have repeatedly taught him patience.

This is the approach the Giants (0-3) have been using. They are slowly increasing his game time. In the season opener against Denver, he was on the field for 29 of the plays. He was on the field for 29 plays four days later against Denver.

His most notable play was a 41 yard run against Washington. It showed signs of the ‘old’ Barkley. It was what fans expected to see on every play. They wanted a back that could make defenses look silly.

It rarely happens that way for players one year after a major accident.

“I’m never going to make any excuses,”Barkley said. “The expectation that people have for me is not even close to the expectations that I have for myself, and it never will be for as long as I play football, or whatever I do after football. That’s just my mindset. I’ve got to keep going, I’ve got to keep getting better. My team needs me to be better. I’ve just got to keep trusting my knee and trusting the process.”

Jason Garrett, offensive coordinator, stated that Barkley’s runs put the Giants into manageable second and third down situations against Atlanta. People who want a series long runs tend to overlook plays between 4 and 7 yards.

“Saquon Barkley is a hell of a football player and he’s a hell of a football player for lot of different reasons,” Garrett said. “He can attack the defense a lot of different ways. I have tremendous admiration for him, from afar competing against him and then having a chance to be around him. He had a really significant injury last year, and how hard he’s worked to come back and play, and play as much as he has early on in the season.”

The Giants will face the Saints on Sunday in New Orleans (2-1).

NOTES: LG Ben Bredeson was unable to practice for the second consecutive day due to a hand injury. The Giants will likely have a new starter at the position for their fourth consecutive game. Matt Skura, who was recently cut by Miami, is the early favorite. … Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton, both WRs, didn’t practice due to hamstring injuries. It is also unlikely that they will play in New Orleans. … Pat Graham, defensive coordinator, has seen his team surrender points on five of seven drives in less than two minutes. “I think we’ve got to work two-minute today at practice, and that’s what we’re going to do,”Graham said, drawing laughter. “Again, I’m not trying to make light of it. That’s not good enough.”

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