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Giants’ Saquon Barkley to be included in Carrie Underwood’s Sunday Night Football opener

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Saquon Barkley gets rare honor for a rookie

NFL: New York Giants-Training Camp Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley is going to be one of the players featured in Carrie Underwood’s opener for Sunday Night Football.

Sunday Night Football tweeted out pictures from the filming of the new opener back in June, showing Barkley in front of a green screen.

What is notable now is that Barkley will be the only rookie featured in an opener that also includes players like Dak Prescott, Carson Wentz, Antonio Brown, and Russell Wilson.

In case you weren’t paying attention, Barkley is already becoming kind of a big deal. His has been one of the top-selling jerseys in the entire NFL since draft night, a couple of pictures from a charity golf and softball game were instantly memed and quickly spawned his new nickname — not to mention had analysts gushing somewhat awkwardly over his legs. That quickly turned into a spread in ESPN’s annual “Body” issue.

Now, Barkley will be featured in the opener for one of the NFL’s biggest shows (an honor that wasn’t even extended to Odell Beckham Jr. in his historic rookie season). John Mara might have been “nervous” about the hype building around Barkley, but that isn’t stopping it, and he better switch from “worry” to “hope” and “support.” Because whether the Giants, Mara, or Barkley himself want it, it looks like the rookie running back is being built up into one of the new faces of the NFL.