Saquon Barkley’s faster-than-expected recovery won’t be fast enough to have him taking the field in Week 6.
The Giants announced Wednesday that Barkley was ruled out for Thursday night’s tilt against the New England Patriots.
Joining Barkley on the sideline with an out designation is tight end Evan Engram, whose knee continues to be problematic.
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Barkley’s backup, Wayne Gallman (concussion) has likewise been ruled out, so the Giants will lean on Jon Hilliman and Elijhaa Penny in the running game.
During one of the more memorable Giants wins in recent memory against the Buccaneers in Week 3, Barkley (48 touches for 311 scrimmage yards, three total touchdowns) sustained an ankle injury and was in a boot and on crutches. His recovery and quick return to practice has been marveled at and there was optimism of a return against the reigning Super Bowl champions. However, last season’s NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year’s return will wait until at least Week 7 when New York hosts the Arizona Cardinals.
In a Week 4 win against the Redskins, Barkley missed his first start, but Gallman filled in admirably. However, he was concussed early against the Vikings in Week 5 and quarterback Daniel Jones’ offensive options were limited. They will remain limited with Gallman sidelined.
While the running game was hindered by injuries, the passing game will move on without its top target. Engram’s 33 catches and 373 yards receiving are team-highs.
Already facing the top-ranked defense in the NFL, Jones and the Big Blue offense’s prospects just got a lot more daunting.
The Giants (2-3) will face the host Patriots (5-0) on Thursday at 8:20 p.m. ET in a game airing on FOX, the NFL Network and Amazon Prime.
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