Saquon Barkley’s ankle injury may have looked serious to those watching him hobble on the sidelines at the end of the New York Giants comeback win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the running back isn’t too worried.
Barkley was forced out of the 32-21 win after going down awkwardly when he was tackled following a six-yard reception in the second quarter. He did not return after halftime, and was seen on the sidelines in a boot and walking in crutches. As ESPN reported, Barkley was diagnosed with a high ankle sprain and is scheduled to have an MRI on Monday so team doctors can discern the extent of the injury.
As the report noted, the signs during the game didn’t look good.
“The All-Pro running back went to the locker room with the help of trainers,” the report noted. “He couldn’t put much pressure on the ankle. He was later seen on the sideline in the second half on crutches and wearing a boot on his injured foot.”
But there were some good signs for the New York Giants after the game. Jordan Raanan of ESPN reported that Barkley himself seemed optimistic about his recovery. Barkley said after the game that he suffered the same injury during his freshman year at Penn State, and was confident he could come back. Barkley only ended up missing two weeks for that injury, and in his first game back rushed for 194 yards against top-ranked Ohio State.
There were others who believe that Barkley could miss significantly more time. Dr. David Chao, the former team doctor for the Los Angeles Chargers, who now diagnoses football injuries on his website, correctly predicted that Barkley had suffered a high ankle sprain and believed he could end up missing several weeks.
“He suffered a contusion on the right thigh, but the real injury is to his right ankle,” Chao noted. “By video, it appears to be a right high ankle/deltoid sprain. Hopefully he can return like Patrick Mahomes did week 1. However, high ankle sprains are hard to tape and as a running back, Barkley will have a hard time returning against Tampa Bay.”
— ESPN (@espn) September 22, 2019
The Giants were able to lean on rookie quarterback Daniel Jones in Barkley’s absence. In his first game as starter since the Giants announced that Eli Manning was heading to the bench, Jones threw for 336 yards and two touchdowns and added another two rushing touchdowns, including the game-winner with 1:16 remaining in the game.