New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley has a sprained right ankle and his status for Thursday night’s game against the San Francisco 49ers is uncertain, a person familiar with the injury told The Associated Press on Monday.
The person spoke to The AP on condition of anonymity because coach Brian Daboll had said earlier in the day he did not know the extent of the injury. Daboll said the team’s medical staff would update him later Monday. The second-year coach has been the only one to speak about injured players during his tenure. He will talk again on Tuesday in Tempe, Arizona, where the Giants are preparing for Thursday’s game.
Daboll had said Barkley was being sent for further tests but his availability would probably be a game-time decision.
Quarterback Daniel Jones said it will take a big effort to replace Barkley if he can’t play.
“Obviously, we’ll miss him with what we are doing,” Jones said Monday in Tempe. “So guys will have to step up. It won’t be any one guy. It will be everyone elevating their play and stepping up. I am confident we can do that.”
Barkley, who is playing on a one-year contract worth up to $11 million, was injured with 1:08 to play against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. The 26-year-old had to be helped to the bench. Two plays before he got hurt, Barkley had a 16-yard run to get the Giants into position for the go-ahead field goal.
Two plays after the injury, Graham Gano converted a 34-yard kick that gave the Giants a 31-28 victory.
Barkley played 66 of the Giants’ 68 offensive snaps. The No. 2 pick in the 2018 draft and the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year ran for 67 yards and a touchdown and caught six passes for 29 yards and another TD. If he cannot play, either Matt Breida, Gary Brightwell or rookie Eric Gray will start.
“He’s extremely dependable,” Jones said of Breida. “He’s an explosive runner. He has breakaway speed. He always does the right thing. You can count on him to step up and play well.”
Barkley was bothered by ankle injuries in his second season and missed three games. He suffered a torn ACL early in the 2020 season.
AP Sports Writer David Brandt contributed to this report.