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Giants news, 9/13: Saquon Barkley’s touches, T.J. Jones’ role, more

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Good morning, New York Giants fans!

Saquon Barkley and touches — again

After a game against the Dallas Cowboys in which the consensus of media and fan opinion was that Barkley did not get the ball often enough, how often the star running should get the ball has been a focus of attention all week. That continued Thursday, when Pat Shurmur was asked about that topic yet again.

“We all know that Saquon is a focus of our offense,” Shurmur said. “He’s also, smartly, the focus of the teams that are defending us. His charm is that you can hand it to him or throw it to him. Yeah, we want him to get the football. It makes sense for him to get the football. Each game plays out differently. I would have never predicted last week that we would have only had four possessions in the first half. That’s just how it worked out. That may, in total, speak to how many touches he might have had based on how many in the first half and how many in the second. Then in the second half, we’re behind and so we’re throwing it a lot more than the law allows. Games play out differently. For me to say we’re going to go in and get X amount, I think it would be a fun thing for everybody to keep track of, but games just play out differently.”

Barkley didn’t bite when asked about how often he does or does not touch the ball.

“I’m willing to do whatever it takes to help the team win,” Barkley said. “If we play better than we did last game, and we execute what we need to execute, I don’t think the conversation will be about 15 touches. I think we find a way to win that game. But at the end of the day, Dallas made more plays than us. We just have to find a way to do that better next game.”

T.J. Jones could factor into the return game

T.J. Jones couldn’t make the Giants’ season-opening 53-man roster. Heading into Week 2, though, Jones could be a key player.

With Golden Tate [suspension] out of the lineup and Sterling Shepard [concussion] and Cody Latimer [calf] possibly out Jones figures to see significant offensive snaps. He could also figure into the return game, where he was heavily used by the Giants in the preseason. Jones averaged 6.2 yards on nine punt returns and 32.3 yards on three kickoff returns in preseason.

“He’d definitely play. We would definitely use T.J. if he’s in there,” special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey said. “He’s a talented kid, very reliable. We use everybody on the roster, we’re going to get something out of all of them. So, it’s just a matter of him getting back in and getting acclimated.”

Corey Ballentine averaged 23.0 yards on a pair of kickoff returns vs. Dallas, his best being a 28-yarder.

“He did a good job. He’s a young kid. The catch mechanic thing is still something that he’s working on, but every week he just has to get better, and every situation for him is a new situation,” McGaughey said. “When you look at that [AT&T] stadium, he’s never been in a place like that before. Topeka, Kansas, Washburn University didn’t look like that, so it was definitely an eye-opening experience for him, but I think as he gets going, we look forward to great things from Corey.”

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