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Giants’ RB Saquon Barkley finally gets chance to avenge his worst game as a pro

2019 game against Jets is one Barkley would like to forget

Washington Commanders v New York Giants Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Nov. 10, 2019. That is a date New York Giants star running back Saquon Barkley does not like to be reminded of.

On that date, a pre-knee and ankle injury Barkley had 1 rushing yard in 13 carries as the Giants lost to the Jets, 34-27. To that point in his career, Barkley said this week that it was the “lowest moment” he had ever experienced as a player.

“I really don’t think about it too much. I was sitting down in my house and my brother, my little brother, definitely reminded me about it. Made a little joke about it,” Barkley said. “That’s when I realized, like, dang, I really had one rushing yard against this team.

“You learn from it. I’m not the only back that’s ever been part of a game like that. I remember seeing the a of Barry Sanders in the playoff game having, like, 16 carries for zero yards.”

Sanders, the Hall of Fame Detroit Lions star, had -1 rushing yards on 13 carries in a 1994 playoff game against the Green Bay Packers.

Barkley was, as has been well documented, a Jets fan growing up. His father remains a Jets fan.

“Some people are familiar with my history of being a Jets fan growing up. My dad is a real big Jets fan, having a Jets tattoo,” Barkley said. “Finally got him to — he’s still rooting for the Jets this game, but he hopes we win this time. So, I got him to say that out of his own mouth two or three days ago. I finally got my father on my side.”

Barkley is still not 100% healthy after suffering a Week 2 high ankle sprain, but has carried the ball 45 times for 170 yards (3.77 yards per carry) the past two weeks and caught a 32-yard touchdown pass last Sunday that saw him show a burst of speed and make some open-field cuts.

“I think if you go watch film, go watch it, everything is all still there. It’s still a high ankle, it’s still challenging, but I felt really comfortable in the game,” Barkley said. “If you watch some of my runs, they only might have gone for four or five yards, but I felt like I was shifty and was able to make the cuts that I needed to make and set up the linemen a little bit. So, I’m excited. Just keep stacking it, keep building off it, keep rehabbing it, and getting better each week.”