Saquon Barkley

Injury Updates: Barkley, 49ers, Lockett

The Giants may be a long shot to make the postseason, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to shut down their star players. When asked if the team would rest running back Saquon Barkley, head coach Pat Shurmur responded with an emphatic “absolutely not” (via Ralph Vacchiano of SNY).

Shurmur had previously acknowledged that Barkley was a bit banged up, and that was evident after the running back compiled a single rushing yard on 13 carries during the Giants’ loss to the Jets on Sunday. ESPN’s Jordan Raanan reports that Barkley had an X-ray on his shoulder after the game. There was some thought that the 22-year-old was suffering from an ankle or leg injury, but Barkley acknowledged that his legs are still feeling good.

The Giants and Barkley will look to get back on track when they return from their bye week. The team will visit the Bears on November 24th.

Let’s check out some more injury notes from around the NFL…

  • We’ve got some updates on key 49ers skill players. ESPN’s Adam Schefter notes (on Twitter) that wideout Emmanuel Sanders‘s s-rays for a rib injury were inconclusive. The veteran was set to undergo an MRI today to determine the extent of the “damage.” Meanwhile, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweets that running back Matt Breida will get a second opinion on his sprained ankle. While the injury isn’t thought to be serious, Breida may still be sidelined for several games.
  • Seahawks wideout Tyler Lockett was at the hospital last night getting treatment for a leg contusion, but Darin Gantt of ProFootballTalk.com passes along that the receiver is alright. Coach Pete Carroll told 710 ESPN that the bruise caused a “pretty severe situation” thanks to the subsequent swelling, and Lockett didn’t return with the team to Seattle. The 27-year-old is having another productive season, hauling in 62 receptions for 793 yards and four touchdowns.
  • Some good news out of Indy: Colts coach Frank Reich told reporters that wideout Devin Funchess should return to practice this week. “Technically, he could be cleared to play the game,” Reich said (via Jim Ayello of the Indy Star). “But he’s got a few more boxes to check. We have to make sure he’s good to go because this will really be his first week of practice. Then we still have to see how much he’ll be able to do Wednesday. We’re really encouraged. I think there’s another box he has to check before we can go full boar on the practice.” Funchess landed on the IR after breaking his collarbone during the season opener.
  • Bengals tight end Drew Sample suffered a high ankle sprain this past weekend, reports NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter). The 2019 second-rounder will undergo additional tests to determine how much time he’ll miss, but Rapoport notes that he’s a candidate for the injured reserve. The rookie has hauled in five catches for 30 yards in nine games (two starts) this season.

Extra Points: Vinatieri, Callaway, Barkley

Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri has struggled mightily this season, and those struggles continued on Sunday. Vinatieri missed a crucial extra point, and the team ended up losing to the Dolphins by four points. Indy ended the game on Miami’s 16-yard line, and would’ve been able to attempt a game-tying field goal if not for Vinatieri’s miss. The organization has stuck by him throughout, but there were signs after the game that their patience might be wearing thin. “We’d been committed to him, but like everybody. … we’re going to always evaluate. Everyone gets measured, everyone’s held accountable. From top to bottom, that’s always the case. Nothing meant to read into that, that’s just the reality,” head coach Frank Reich said, per Joel A. Erickson of The Athletic (Twitter link).

On extra points, Reich said “there is an expectation there. Whatever percent it is to make an extra point, 97 percent, or 96.whatever it is to make that, we need to make those,” Erickson noted in a separate tweet. Vinatieri has now missed six extra points and five field goals on the year. It’s certainly not for sure, but the Colts appear to be inching closer to a divorce with the legendary 46-year-old kicker.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Browns receiver Antonio Callaway was a healthy scratch during Cleveland’s win over the Bills, and it appears there could be something interesting here. Callaway warmed up in uniform as if he was about to play, but then wound up inactive. When asked about it after the game Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens said it “was between him and Callaway and repeated the response when asked if it was a disciplinary matter,” according to Josh Alper of ProFootballTalk.com. Alper notes that Baker Mayfield said Callaway was in the game plan during the week, but that “things happen.” Since it’s the Browns, it will probably turn out to be something of note.
  • The Giants suffered a tough loss to the Jets on Sunday, and things might get even worse. Star running back Saquon Barkley was spotted getting X-Rays after the game, according to Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post. Head coach Pat Shurmur conceded Barkley got “banged around pretty good,” but neither the coach nor player was willing to talk about what was wrong. Barkley, of course, just recently returned after missing time with an ankle injury.
  • In case you missed it, some in the Browns organization wanted to hire Kevin Stefanski instead of Freddie Kitchens.

Injury Updates: Saints, Brees, Giants

Saints quarterback Drew Brees wants to return sometime before the team’s Week 9 bye, but the team wants to exercise caution and push that off until Week 10, Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports tweets. The Saints’ position makes sense, given Brees’ importance and Teddy Bridgewater‘s recent performance.

The Saints are 4-1 following Sunday’s win over the Bucs and they’ll look to make it four straight with a win over the Jaguars on Sunday afternoon.

Here’s more on some notable injuries around the NFL:

  • The Giants officially ruled out running back Saquon Barkley (ankle), tight end Evan Engram (knee), and running back Wayne Gallman (concussion) for Thursday night’s game against the Pats. The Giants showed some new signs of life following Daniel Jones‘ takeover of the offense, but they fell to the Vikings over the weekend and the odds may be stacked against them in New England.
  • Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians says edge rusher Jason Pierre-Paul will be able to resume practicing with the team next week. JPP has not missed a game over the last two seasons, but he has yet to make his 2019 debut thanks to a fractured vertebra in his neck. Recently, he restructured his deal with the Bucs, allowing him to reach free agency after the ’19 season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Updates: Rams, Matthews, Giants, Engram

There’s still no official word on when Rams outside linebacker Clay Matthews will return to action, but a realistic return date for him would be after the team’s bye week, head coach Sean McVay told reporters. That would line the veteran up for a Week 10 return on Nov. 10 against the Steelers, restoring one of the Rams’ defensive stars for a second-half push.

While Matthews’ busted jaw heals up, the Rams will face the 49ers in an intrastate matchup on Sunday.

Here’s more on some notable injuries from around the NFL:

  • Giants tight end Evan Engram is dealing with a sprained MCL, a source tells ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). It’ll be a challenge for Engram to play against the Patriots on Thursday, Schefter hears, which would leave the club with Rhett Ellison, Garrett Dickerson, and Kaden Smith at TE. Meanwhile, wide receiver Sterling Shepard is out and running back Saquon Barkley is considered unlikely to play.
  • 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk suffered an MCL injury on Monday night against the Browns, a source tells NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter). The team should know more after an MRI on Tuesday. Juszczyk may not be a household name, but he’s a key part of SF’s offense.

Giants Targeting Week 6 Return For Saquon?

Although the Giants haven’t officially ruled out Saquon Barkley for Week 5, the club’s “real target” return date for the star running back is Week 6 against the Patriots, a source tells Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.

Barkley, of course, suffered an ankle sprain in Week 3 and was given an initial recovery timeline of four-to-six weeks. However, nearly every report on Barkley’s progress has been glowing, and he now looks poised to easily outperform that schedule. He’s already been running and cutting on the sidelines during practice, and the Giants are “amazed, but not completely surprised” by Barkley’s recovery. If it were Barkley’s choice, per Vacchiano, he’d be on the field for Sunday’s matchup against the Vikings.

“I’m a competitor and definitely want to be out there for my team,” Barkley said. “But when you say team, it’s not just only in this building or on the football field. I have to trust my team in there.”

If Barkley can return for Week 6, he’d be a boon to a Giants that’s now helmed by rookie quarterback Daniel Jones and will see the return of suspended wide receiver Golden Tate this Sunday. For now, Wayne Gallman — who scored two touchdowns in relief of Barkley in Week 4 — will continue to hold down the fort at running back.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

No Surgery For Giants’ Saquon Barkley

Excellent news for the Giants. Saquon Barkley will not require surgery on his injured ankle, according to specialist Dr. Robert Anderson (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport).

Barkley’s high-ankle sprain is expected to shelve him for 4-8 weeks. Initially, a “tightrope” surgery was considered as an option. It’s the same surgery that Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had late last year and sometimes can aid in recovery for ankle injuries. Still, surgery is never fun and the fact that Anderson is not recommending it for Barkley suggests that his sprain is not of the more serious variety.

At minimum, Barkley will miss games against the Redskins, Vikings, Patriots, and Cardinals. It has been suggested that the Giants could keep him out for a longer stretch, giving him the club’s Week 11 bye week to recuperate. After that, Barkley could return for the team’s final six games.

The Giants are 1-2 thanks to Daniel Jones‘ late-game Week 3 heroics and the Bucs lack of defensive awareness. Next up – a Sunday matchup against Washington with Wayne Gallman as the primary tailback to try and improve to .500.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants’ Saquon Barkley To Miss 4-8 Weeks

Giants running back Saquon Barkley could miss anywhere from 4-8 weeks, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Right now, the longer timeline is considered more likely, given the nature of his high ankle sprain and the timing of the Giants’ bye. 

The Giants will have off in Week 11, so the smarter play for the G-Men might be to give the young star a full two months to recuperate. In the interim, Wayne Gallman figures to take over as the team’s primary back. He’s not on Barkley’s level, but Gallman does have a career 4.0 yards per carry average to his credit. Gallman might also benefit from the additional running threat that new starter Daniel Jones provides.

Meanwhile, Barkley is intent on getting back on the field ASAP.

I’m not out for the season,” Barkley said on Sunday. “I’m going to do whatever I can to get back as quickly as possible.”

Barkley, 22, averaged 5.0 yards per tote last year and also caught 91 passes for 721 yards. At minimum, he’ll miss contests against the Redskins, Vikings, Patriots, and Cardinals.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Newton, Barkley, Edelman

The Panthers’ season got off to a disastrous start, as the team limped out to an 0-2 record and Cam Newton re-injured himself. It looked like they were quickly circling the drain, and then Kyle Allen happened. Allen was nearly perfect starting in place of Newton, averaging ten yards per attempt and tossing four touchdowns while leading Carolina to a road win over Arizona. Allen’s performance was so strong, that it sparked some talk of a potential quarterback controversy.

Speaking after the game Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said the starting job is still Newton’s when he’s healthy but that right now they’re “rolling” with Allen, per Joseph Person of The Athletic (Twitter link). Newton won’t be getting benched, but Rivera’s comments don’t exactly inspire confidence that he’ll be back soon. Newton aggravated a foot injury he suffered during the preseason, and his throwing shoulder which he underwent surgery on this offseason hasn’t looked 100 percent either. It’ll be very interesting too see what happens next, but with Allen’s emergence it appears Carolina’s quarterback situation isn’t as dire as it originally seemed.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • We’ve heard that Giants running back Saquon Barkley has suffered a high ankle sprain and is going to miss some time, and now we have Barkley’s thoughts on his injury. “I’m not out for the season,” Barkley said, via Matt Lombardo of NJ.com. “I’m going to do whatever I can to get back as quickly as possible.” Barkley told Jordan Ranaan of ESPN.com that he had a high ankle sprain his freshman year at Penn State, and that he only missed two games with that injury (Twitter link). Right now two missed games would probably be a best-case scenario.
  • Patriots receiver Julian Edelman was knocked out of New England’s win over the Jets with a rib injury, but fortunately it doesn’t seem too serious. X-Rays on his ribs were negative, sources told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). Rapoport writes that it’s an “early positive sign,” which would seem to suggest he isn’t completely out of the woods yet. In the wake of Antonio Brown‘s release, the Patriots’ receiving corp would suddenly go from loaded to a bit thin if Edelman has to miss any time.
  • In case you missed it, Redskins tight end Jordan Reed‘s career is in doubt.

Saquon Barkley To Miss Time

Things could be worse, but Saquon Barkley is definitely dealing with a significant injury. NFL fans everywhere were holding their breath when Barkley limped to the sidelines, and now we have an update.

Barkley suffered a sprained ankle, sources told Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Fortunately Raanan reports that nothing is broken. That being said, he does write that “expectation is that he will miss some time.” Barkley’s ankle got rolled up on by a Buccaneers defender, and it looked like it could’ve been worse at first. He left the game wearing a walking boot, so presumably it’s a high ankle sprain.

The Giants’ offense runs through Barkley, so obviously it’s a massive loss for however long he’s out. New York picked up a thrilling win on Sunday in the first game of the Daniel Jones era. Jones impressed in his first career start, but he’ll now be without his best weapon for at least a little while.

The Giants drafted Barkley second overall last April, and he’s been electrifying the league ever since. The Penn State product averaged five yards per carry last season and also caught 91 passes for 721 yards. There’s a lot of optimism around this Giants team due to Jones’ emergence, but the Barkley injury certainly puts a damper on things. Adam Schefter of ESPN.com soon followed up with a tweet confirming it’s a high ankle sprain, and that Barkley will undergo an MRI on Monday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Sign Saquon Barkley

The Giants have signed first-round running back Saquon Barkley, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).

Barkley, the second overall pick in the 2018 draft, will receive a fully guaranteed four-year deal worth $31.2MM, per Rapoport. The pact also contains a $20.76MM signing bonus, $15MM of which he’ll receive immediately. The remainder of Barkley’s bonus will be paid out by October.

With Barkley under contract, only 10 2018 draft selections remain unsigned, and the majority of those players are first-rounders. Reports earlier this year indicated offset language was the primary driver in first-round pick negotiations. Thanks to the slotting system for rookie deals, and the fact that first-round picks are nearly always guaranteed the entirety of their deals, offset language is the only area left for haggling.

Offset language does exist in Barkley’s deal, tweets Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. That means Barkley won’t be allowed to “double-dip” — i.e. collect extra salary from a new team — in the event that he’s released during the next four seasons. Obviously, the Giants are hoping that a Barkley release will not occur over the life of his contract, but the club has protected itself nevertheless.

New York chose Barkley near the top of the first round instead of picking a potential franchise quarterback, a decision that could be analyzed for years to come. But Barkley figures to be one of the primary pieces of the Giants’ offense in 2018, as he’ll run behind a revamped offensive line that includes free agent acquisition Nate Solder at tackle and second-rounder Will Hernandez at guard.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.