So much for the idea of easing off on the workload being carried by New York Giants’ star running back Saquon Barkley.
A week ago, Barkley carried a career-most 35 times for 152 yards as the Giants defeated the Houston Texans. Barkley is averaging a career-high 25.2 touches per game. He has carried the ball 20 or more times in five of the last six games. Barkley leads the NFL in touches with 227, and is on pace for 429. That would blow away his career-high of 352 touches in 2018. He leads the league in rushing yards with 931, and rushing yards per game (103.4).
None of that concerns Giants head coach Brian Daboll. What concerns him is winning.
“If it comes down to it and he needs 50 carries for us to win, then give him 50 carries,” Daboll said.
The 7-2 Giants are, of course, in the thick of the competition for a playoff berth. Every victory makes it more likely the Giants, in Daboll’s first season, will reach the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
Daboll said that kind of heavy workload is never planned. Rather, it simply unfolds based on game circumstances.
“I think as the game goes, you get a feel for it and what’s going to happen relative to play calls, how many times he’s touching the ball. I don’t think you can go into a game and say, “hey, you’re getting this many carries” or “you’re going to get this many passes,’” Daboll said. “Don’t think you can do it that way. I just think as the game goes, that’s how you call it and you do what you think you need to do to win.”
Barkley isn’t shying away from the work.
“It’s just the grind of the season and that’s how it goes,” Barkley said. “For me, it’s just continuing to be a pro, take care of my body.”