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Giants’ Saquon Barkley finally confesses health a factor in rough season

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Says he is “getting healthier and healthier each week”

New York Giants v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

After weeks of downplaying his health as part of the reason his production is down this season, New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley pretty much admitted on Thursday that has been the case.

Asked on Thursday how he feels physically, this was Barkley’s response:

“I feel really good, actually. I feel really good. Probably feel the best, to be honest, than a lot of people in the league. I was banged up earlier in the year so I’m getting better and better each week. It’s not so much it’s the injury that, I guess you could say, is holding me back. Even though physically you feel like you’re back, mentally you might be telling yourself that you’re back, but you watch yourself on film and you can see the way that you’re running and you’re protecting yourself. You don’t really think you’re doing it, but naturally it’s just happening. But I think I’m getting better and better each week. My body is getting healthier and healthier each week. Try to finish the season off strong.”

After having seven 100-yard rushing games a season ago, Barkley has two this season. He hasn’t had one since Week 2, prior to his ankle injury.

In 2018, Barkley had 13 games of at least 100 or more total yards. He has had four in 2019.

Offensive coordinator Mike Shula said Thursday he feels the running game has improved in recent weeks.

“I think that probably four or five weeks ago, we kind of struggled just with a few things, just with some moving parts. Saquon was just getting back from his injury. I think the last few weeks, though, we’ve been back heading in the direction where we want to go,” Sjula said. “We’re not quite there, but there are a lot of positive runs, a lot of efficient runs. You see our offensive line coming off the ball, you see them re-establishing the line of scrimmage, Saquon is hitting it up in there. We’ve had a few that have been really close, really in the last three games, from breakouts.”

With only three games remaining in the season it certainly would be nice to see Barkley flash that 2018 Rookie of the Year form once or twice.