Saquon Barkley has ‘ordinary’ ankle sprain in Giants sigh of relief

Saquon Barkley has ‘ordinary’ ankle sprain in Giants sigh of relief

Sunday’s historic win came with a cost, just thankfully not a huge one for the Giants.

Star running back Saquon Barkley suffered an “ordinary” ankle sprain that is expected to sideline him for three weeks, including Thursday’s game against the 49ers, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

An MRI on Monday confirmed the injury, which Barkley suffered in the fourth quarter of the 31-28 win over the Cardinals on Sunday.

X-rays taken Sunday were negative.

Giants head coach Brian Daboll said Monday morning the team was “hopeful,” but losing Barkley is a tough blow for a Giants team that lacks playmakers.

Barkley is arguably the team’s best offensive player and showed that Sunday when he rushed for 63 yards and one touchdown and added another 29 receiving yards along with a leaping touchdown to aid the comeback win.

The Giants now will turn to veteran journeyman Matt Breida, Gary Brightwell and fifth-round rookie Eric Gray.

Saquon Barkley
Saquon Barkley suffered an injury Sunday against the Cardinals.Getty Images

That trio has combined for four carries for 19 yards this season.

“Whatever it is, we’ll have a plan ready to go,’’ Daboll said Monday. “If he can play, he can play, and if he can’t we’ll have the other guys prepared and ready to go.’’

He added: “I’ve been with Matt for quite some time, he knows our system. He’s prepared every week as if he was the starter and that’s what they all need to do. I’d say all three of the guys work really hard and prepare as if they’re going to play an entire game.’’

The silver lining for the Giants is Barkley will miss a very tough road game against the 49ers in which the Giants are massive underdogs and would have been even if he was healthy.

Saquon Barkley
Saquon Barkley scored two touchdowns Sunday against the Cardinals.Getty Images

The Giants are already 10.5-point underdogs at FanDuel for Thursday’s game.

The team’s Week 4 game comes at MetLife Stadium on Oct. 2 on “Monday Night Football” against the Seahawks, which affords Barkley an extra day of rest should his ankle heal quicker than expected.

The bigger challenge for the Giants may be finding the right way to ease Barkley back into action since he’s known for pushing to return fast and the results usually don’t follow.

Barkley missed three games in 2019 and then averaged 2.8 yards per carry in his first five games after returning.

In 2021, he averaged just 3.5 yards per carry in his first six games back after being sidelined for four games.

Injuries have plagued Barkley since he entered the league and have certainly played a role in why the Giants have not rewarded him with a mega contract yet.

Instead, he’s playing on a one-year, $11 million contract and hoping he can show the Giants — or any other team — he’s worthy of a deal in line with Christian McCaffrey’s big deal.

Dealing with injuries does not help that cause nor the Giants’ hopes of returning to the playoffs.