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Saquon Barkley: Giants’ RB says explosiveness “is not a problem”

Star running back not sure how much he will be able to do Thursday on short rest

NFL: Denver Broncos at New York Giants Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants had only 26 yards on 10 carries (2.6 yards per carry) in his comeback on Sunday from a Week 2 2020 torn ACL. His longest run was 5 yards. It wasn’t, by any definition, vintage Barkley.

The performance left some wondering if, or when, we will see Barkley be BARKLEY. When will we see him be the player gained 1,307 yards rushing and averaged 5.0 yards per attempt as a rookie in 2018.

Barkley said he was “knocking the rust off” Sunday vs. the Denver Broncos and isn’t worried about having lost anything.

“My explosiveness to me is not a problem. I feel like it’s all there still. I didn’t really give myself the opportunity or had an opportunity to break a long one, so I guess I couldn’t show that,” Barkley said on Tuesday. “Just got to stick with the game plan, stick with the runs, take the dirty runs. When I get the opportunity to make a big play, make big play.”

Head coach Joe Judge had said on Monday that he expected Barkley to play Thursday against the Washington Football Team despite the quick turnaround.

“I haven’t gotten tackled in a whole year or played in a football game in a whole year.,” Barkley said. “There’s always going to be some soreness. Definitely a quick turn around this week, but that’s why I’ve got to be a pro and get my body ready and take care of my body.”

Barkley said that how much he can contribute Thursday, just four days after playing for the first time in a year and coming off a major injury, is “a great question.”

“I don’t think the schedule is ideal for coming back off a major knee injury to have two games back-to-back, but that’s what it is. That’s what’s in front of me and that’s the challenge I have to face,” Barkley said. “To the question of my workload and how much can I handle, it’s easier for me to stay up here and say, ‘I don’t know, just listen to the coaches.’ When you’re in the game and your adrenaline’s going and you start getting a rhythm and you start feeling yourself again, that can go from less reps or more reps, I don’t know to be honest. I’m not in that decision, I don’t make that decision, I’m just playing my role by showing up on Thursday and the plays that I do get, try to help my team to the best of my capability.”