Once Giants star running back Saquon Barkley went down with a high ankle sprain last week, people began wringing their hands with worry over how the team would compensate for the loss of such a generational talent.
It turned out they could have devoted that energy spent worrying to other areas of concern as Wayne Gallman not only stepped in for Barkley, he had a very productive day.
"I was going to show everybody that even though Say is out, I’m Wayne, and I can do whatever it takes to win," Gallman said of his message to the detractors.
The 24-year-old Gallman did just that, running for a team-leading 63 yards on 18 carries and catching six out of his seven pass targets for 76 yards while also contributing two touchdowns (one via run and the other a reception) in the Giants' 24-3 win over Washington Sunday.
"I was comfortable from the first snap," Gallman said after the game. "You know I’ve been waiting for this moment a long time and just been ready for it. Just been waiting a long time for it and I wasn’t about to let it get away from me."
Gallman has been waiting for this moment ever since being selected in the fourth round of the 2017 draft out of Clemson.
He showed flashes of promise as a rookie rushing 111 times for 476 yards, but the following year, any chance he had of becoming the No. 1 back disappeared when the Giants drafted Barkley with the No. 2 overall pick.
Since then, Gallman has been waiting for his opportunity, and when it arrived this week, he tried to keep things in perspective.
"I was just trying to keep the main thing the main thing this week," he said. "Not try to think too much about things, just follow the reads in practice, do the right things and get better every day."
Gallman, who is close friends with Barkley, joked that his teammate turned the heat up under his seat when he predicted via a tweet that Gallman would "go crazy."
"I don’t know why he does some of the things he does," Gallman said off Barkley, laughing. "He told me when I was getting taped. I was like, ‘Bro, why would you do that?’ So I was like now I’ve got to show up."
Although Barkley couldn't be on the sideline during the game, he made certain to stay in contact with Gallman, whom he also shared pointers during the week.
"We talked at halftime and he told me what he saw, what he didn’t [see] as I do for him when he’s in the game. So, you know I love him, I love what he does," Gallman said.
Overall, Gallman said he's pleased with his first extensive action since his rookie year but added that there is room to grow.
"I feel like I played good," he said. "There’s always room for improvement, but just seeing what we did today is a great step for the team and that we’re only looking better from here."
Giants Maven Weekly Fan Friday Mailbag
Want to participate in our Friday Fan Day mailbag? Send your questions to us at email@example.com.
Giants Maven Social Media
Sign up for our free newsletter
Sign up for our free newsletter and get breaking Giants news, notes, and more delivered to your inbox!
Can’t get enough Big Blue news and analysis?
Subscribe to the FREE LockedOn Giants podcast, your daily podcast featuring all things New York Giants, available on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, FM Player and wherever else podcasts are offered.