The New York Giants got off to a faltering start in regard to their 2021 NFL campaign. Despite making a slew of valuable additions to their offense, the side lost to the Denver Broncos at home 27-13.
While Giants fans were looking forward to seeing their new acquisitions in action, most eyes were glued on the return of a more familiar figure.
Running back Saquon Barkley missed 14 games last season after tearing his ACL. Now back, the former Pro Bowler though failed to impress at his homecoming.
In 10 rushing attempts, Barkley could only muster up 26 yards. A far cry from his average of over 75 rushing yards a game. Many felt that Barkley’s poor performance was down to him recovering from his injury. But the running back said that his knee is definitely not something he wishes to use as an excuse going forward.
New York Giants’ run game depends on Barkley showing up
As per the New York Daily News, Saquon Barkley’s knee isn’t holding him back anymore. And thus, he definitely does not wish to use it as an excuse for his poor performance in the Giants’ opening game loss to the Broncos.
“I don’t want the theme to be, ‘Oh, the run game’s not going ’cause Saquon’s knee. He’s still getting right back from the knee,” Barkley said. “That’s not the mindset I’m gonna have. I’m not gonna use that as a crutch. The gig is up. I’m back on the field.”
Sep 20, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) is helped off of the field after suffering an injury during the second quarter against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
The Giants are easing Barkley back into the team’s offensive plans and thus his carries in the Broncos game were limited. But Barkley hopes to have a bigger role to play when his side take on division rivals Washington Football Team (WFT).
“Hopefully week by week, my knee keeps responding properly and my rep count keeps going,” Barkley said. “The carries I do get, (it’s time to) to get this run game going. Because once we get it going, I think we could be a very good offense.”
The WFT will be a true test for the Giants and Barkley. One of the league’s best defensive units, a solid showing could help put to bed the narrative that Barkley so desperately seeks to shed.