How bad was his game this past Sunday? Against the New York Jets Barkley picked up one yard on 13 carries, or just about 2.8 inches per carry.
Granted, the Jets have arguably the best run defense in the NFL, but it is also apparent that while Barkley can run in the open field he is not yet fully healthy following the high ankle sprain he suffered in week three. But ever the competitor, Barkley is dead set against being shut down for the remainder of the season.
"I do not agree with that idea at all ... The mindset of sitting me out and resting me for the rest of the season is beyond me. I do not agree with it and it won’t happen. I’m going to keep going until I can’t go anymore. That’s the type of player I am and I’m going to do it for my teammates,” Barkley said.
On his plans for the bye week
Barkley's dedication to his teammates is admirable, as are the standards to which he holds himself. That being said, he is as ready for the bye week as any other player.
He is looking forward to the opportunity to get away from the game and spend time with his family as well as his teammates. But he is also going to take the opportunity to reflect on his play in the first half of the season and try to identify how he can improve for the last six games.
"The bye week always comes at the right time, no matter if it’s early in the season, the middle of the season, or the end,” Barkley said. “Any time you get a bye week, it’s always good just to sometimes get your mind away from it a little bit, spend some time with your family, spend some time with your teammates, and get a little bit of time off. But also during that time, like I said, go back and reflect on yourself as a player and what we haven’t done so far in the season and see where we can improve."
What Barkley thinks is wrong
Barkley admits to being “beat up,” but he refuses to use injury as an excuse. Instead, he says, he just isn’t playing well enough and that, ankle or no, he needs to make more plays for his team.
“Yes, I feel like myself,” Barkley said. “I would love to be going for 100 yards every game, I would love to be doing the things I was doing last year. I don’t like the fact that I was able to have one yard against the Jets, a great team, respect to them. I feel like when you see me get in open space I still was making people miss.
“To say that I’m not healthy, that’s just an excuse. Everyone is banged up, everyone is going through something and I’m not going to let that be an excuse for why I’m not having a successful season. The reason I’m not having a successful season is because I’m not making enough plays for my team.”