Giants running back Saquon Barkley didn’t even let the question about whether he had any doubts about making a complete recovery and return to football finish.
“No doubt in my mind,” he said with convincing certainty.
“I'm never going to go into it with a negative approach. I think a positive mindset is going to be the thing that helps you get through a lot of things in life. And that's the mindset I'm gonna have, that I'm gonna come out and be a better player.
Barkley is recovering from a torn ACL suffered back in Week 2 against the Bears. He underwent reconstructive surgery to repair the ligament but did not need surgery on his MCL, nor did he end up losing his meniscus.
Barkley admitted that while the downtime caused by his injury has allowed him to spend more time with his daughter, it’s been hard to sit idly by and not be a part of what the Giants have been building this season. At the same time, the team’s offensive captain has been thrilled with the direction the NFC East-leading Giants’ season has taken, and in particular, the running game.
“Wayne Train--I'm so proud of him,” Barkley said of fellow running back Wayne Gallman. “He's playing amazing, not only him but Alfred (Morris), EP (Eli Penny), the offensive line.
“I remember after the Steelers game when I guess you could say the run game wasn't so pretty. I remember talking to the offensive line right there and saying, ‘We know what we have here. And we're going to get this thing figured out.’
Honestly, I wish I was able to be part of it. I mean, I'm still part of it, to be completely honest. That's my mindset. I'm so part of it in a way, but to see those guys open up those holes and seeing a running back run in a way that Wayne is running is honestly amazing. And it's really helped the team.”
Barkley said he doesn’t have a timetable as to when he might be able to return to the football field to contribute, but he did say that his return was not tied into whether he receives a contract extension next year.
“I'm not really focused on with that,” Barkley said. “I'm just focusing on getting 1% better and attacking the day to day.”
Barkley also apologized for not wearing a mask during a private dinner with teammates and friends in New York City in which he was captured on video, along with quarterback Daniel Jones, not wearing a mask or practicing social distancing.
"I do take the virus seriously. I think that we let our guard down to be completely honest," Barkley said, adding that he's done some promotional work that has tied in with providing meals to frontline workers and to raise awareness of the virus's severity.
"We were trying to do it the right way, and that little moment, I guess, just came off looking negative, but we actually were trying to do it the right way.
"I actually want to say apologize for that you know, as a leader of this team and, and, you know, being one of the faces of this franchise, I got to be better for us."
Get the latest New York Giants news by joining our community. Click "Follow" at the top right of our SI Giants Country page. Mobile users click the notification bell.