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Sit out? Nah. Saquon Barkley aims to finish on a “high note”

Giants’ running back returning to the place where he was injured a season ago

NFL: New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants travel to Soldier Field to face the Chicago Bears on Sunday - the second time in as many seasons. The last matchup ended in a narrow 17-13 loss in week two of 2020, but the most significant loss wasn’t the game. Running back Saquon Barkley tore his right ACL.

Barkley spoke to the New York media on Wednesday after neglecting the opportunity to talk after the Giants embarrassing 34-10 loss to Philadelphia on Sunday. Barkley was asked about his absence and replied as such:

”I’m pretty sure you guys got in contact with our media team. Just the timing of after the game with treatment and everything. It wouldn’t have aligned, kind of a similar situation to what happened earlier in the year with Washington, as you all know,” Barkley said. “The next day, the timing wasn’t going to happen again. I kind of know that you guys would be able to talk to me on Wednesday, so here I am.”

Fair enough. Barkley expounded on a few questions from the media and was terse with others.

One of the questions with a one-word response was an idea pitched out about Barkley shutting himself down for the final two games since the Giants were officially out of the playoff hunt. Barkley responded with a quick “No.”

Barkley was also asked about his role as a captain and his view on the last two weeks of the lost season:

”We’ve just got to continue to fight for each other. Obviously, we know the season didn’t go the way that we would like it, but we only have two more opportunities left as a team. Coach Judge kind of said it in our squad meeting today; you never know when your last opportunity is going to be, so you’ve got to try to take advantage of it,” Barkley said. “Speaking personally, it’s something I had to deal with last year, missing the whole season, knowing the game can be taken away from you at any moment. With these last two games, starting with Chicago, we’ve got to come out here and fight. That’s got to be the whole theme of the team and. for each other.”

A bit later in the interview, a reporter asked if Barkley thinks about the speculation about his future next season and how it could be - perhaps - his last season with the Giants:

”No, I don’t. I can’t control those things. I can’t have that thought process,” Barkley said. “My thought process is to come in every single day and try to be a leader for the team. To get better physically and mentally, and all the above. Like I said, with these last two games, especially coming up with Chicago, try to finish on a high note and play for each other.”

Barkley also reiterated that he hopes to be a Giant for the long haul.

Barkley also answered a question regarding the injury he suffered against the Bears in Chicago last year. He was asked if he often thinks about the injury and if he ever thinks about how last season could have been different for the Giants if he wasn’t injured:

”I try not to think about it, but it happened,” Barkley said. “I really don’t try to think about it, I guess probably more so last year, but this is a whole different season.”

A follow-up question asked if Barkley will take a moment to soak in what happened last year now that he is returning to Chicago, and he gave a one-word answer of “No.”

”I try not to think about it, but it happened. I really don’t try to think about it, I guess probably more so last year, but this is a whole different season.”