Giants RB Saquon Barkley considered week to week with ankle sprain

The New York Giants won’t have their star running back for Week 3, and perhaps even longer.

Further testing on Monday revealed that Saquon Barkley has an ankle sprain that will have him considered week to week, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source.

Rapoport added that Barkley will be out for Thursday night’s road game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Barkley suffered the injury late in the fourth quarter of the Giants’ win over the Cardinals on Sunday, and he was in visible pain as he was helped off the field. Considering his reaction and the nature of the play — a grueling pile-on that had Barkley’s body contorting backward — Monday’s prognosis could be seen as a sigh of relief.

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Barkley found the end zone twice to help erase a 21-point deficit in the Giants’ remarkable comeback win, and supplanting his energetic play will be tough for a team that seemed to finally find its footing in the second half of Week 2.

Injuries to New York’s offensive line doesn’t help the situation, either, with left tackle Andrew Thomas (hamstring) hoping for a quick return after missing Week 2 and guard Ben Bredeson currently in the concussion protocol. Thomas was limited in Monday’s practice estimation while Bredeson was listed as a DNP.

Veteran Matt Breida, Gary Brightwell and fifth-round rookie Eric Gray round out the RB depth chart for Big Blue and figure to share the workload while Barkley is out.

Daniel Jones, who is second on the team with 102 rushing yards, could be called upon to open up the Giants’ passing attack without a featured back. Jones has throw for 425 yards (41 of 65) with two touchdowns and three interceptions this season, but a leaky O-line that’s allowed 10 sacks through two weeks has made for some frenzied offensive highlights for New York.

It’s a frustrating injury for Barkley, who signed a reworked one-year deal just ahead of training camp to avoid a lengthy standoff after being franchise tagged earlier in the offseason, but Monday’s development brings relief for a star RB who should still have the opportunity to prove his worth in 2023.

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