“At this point, no…I want to be clear, (the plan) doesn’t involved Saquon being put on the injured list,” Shurmur said.
Barkley suffered a high ankle sprain in Sunday’s 32-31 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was injured after his right ankle twisted in an awkward position while being tackled by Bucs safety Mike Edwards. After the injury, he limped over to the sideline where he was attended to by trainers. Barkley later returned to the game on crutches and wearing a walking boot.
X-rays were negative. Team sources initially said Barkley would miss anywhere between four and eight weeks. There was concern that the timeline for recovery would be longer. Barkley said after the game he suffered the same injury during his freshman season at Penn State, missing two games.
Barkley’s ankle was initially examined by Dr. Martin O’Malley in New York. He traveled to Green Bay to get a second opinion from Dr. Robert Anderson. The team never seriously considered surgery.
“Rehab him and get him ready to go,” Shurmur said. “See how that plays out.”
Shurmur would not give a timetable for Barkley’s return. If the Giants elected to put him on injured reserve, he would have automatically been sidelined for eight weeks.
The 1-2 Giants will start third-year halfback Wayne Gallman. Gallman has played 31 games with three starts coming into Week 4. He has 30 yards rushing on seven attempts and a touchdown so far this season.
Gallman and converted fullback Elijhaa Penny were the only healthy backs on the Giants’ roster after Sunday’s game. Rookie Jon Hilliman, an undrafted free agent who played his college ball at both Rutgers and Boston College, was promoted to the active roster Wednesday.
Regardless of who the Giants elect to go with at running back, they will not be able to replicate Barkley’s production on the field. In 2018, he became the third rookie in NFL history to gain at least 2,000 yards from scrimmage and walked away with his first Pro Bowl berth as well as Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.
Barkley entered Week 3 second in the NFL in rushing yards with 227, gaining an average of 113.5 yards in his first two games. He also had seven receptions for 47 yards. Before the injury, he had 10 yards rushing on eight carries and four receptions for 27 yards.