Saquon Barkley Continues to Trust the Giants Process

Emily Iannaconi

As a running back at Whitehall High School in Whitehall Township Pennsylvania, Saquon Barkley rushed for 3,646 yards with 63 touchdowns during his sophomore through senior year. 

Whitehall High School competes in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference. By comparison, the Giants’ opponent Thursday night, the New England Patriots, is a part of the AFC East in the National Football League, the latter in which Barkley has rushed for 1m544 yards on 298 carries with 12 touchdowns 

To Barkley, though, the two leagues might as well be the same. That’s because Barkley, who is aggressively rehabbing from a high ankle sprain suffered in Week 4, is anxious to get back playing football again on any level.

“It’s not just the primetime Patriots,” Barkley said Tuesday. “We could be playing at Whitehall High School. I love playing football. I love being out there with my brothers. I get to come out and live the dream that I had since I was a little kid. That’s why I want to be out there.”

That is why, for Barkley, the rehabilitation process has not been difficult. He made up his mind as soon as it happened that he was going to come back as fast as possible and be “10 times better.”

He is open-minded about preaching the concept of team on and off the playing field and has praised the Giants training staff, his “teammates” during his rehab, who have made the aftermath of his high ankle sprain, well, a little less painful.

The tradeoff for Barkley, who if he had his druthers would play Thursday night against the Patriots, is that he knows he won’t feel 100 percent. But his desire to be out there doing what he loves supersedes any aches and pains he might have to deal with.

“No one is going to be 100 percent, that’s the NFL,” Barkley said. “That’s what happens in the sport that you play, the sport that I love. For me, my mindset every single day, continue to get better, continue taking those reps.”

While recovering, Barkley, who has been limited this week in practice, said he’s been focused on taking one day at a time and helping his fellow running backs--Eli Penny, Jon Hilliman and Austin Walter--with the little things necessary to win.

Barkley is particularly excited to see Penny, his lead blocker, take on an increased role because players like Penny often go unnoticed.

“EP, yeah, he was going. He was doing well; he was doing his thing. I’m excited to see him. That’s the stuff that you love that goes unnoticed.

“I think he did a really good job, and not just only as a fullback. The last few years he’s been beneficial to me and has helped me out a lot to grow, not only into the person but into the player I am.”

Barkley will find out on Wednesday if he gets the green light to play Thursday night, something he desperately hopes he’ll get. However, he said he’s been focusing on one day at a time, working to strengthen his ailing ankle and trying to be smart about things.

“My focus is going out there (Wednesday),” Barkley said. “We treat it like a Saturday since Thursday is technically Sunday. My decision is to come here early, get my treatment, get my rehab, then go out to practice.”

And does he expect to be on the team bus when it departs for Foxborough?

“That’s the goal, that’s the mindset that I have,” he said. “That’s how I’m attacking it every single day, every single week. Getting ready for the Patriots and doing what I can to help my team win.”

And if the decision is made that he’ll benefit from sitting out Thursday night, Barkley will accept it and do whatever he can within the parameters set for him.

“Just trust the team, trust the process, trust myself, and trust God and everything,” Barkley said. “I’m going to be there no matter what.”

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