Every New York Giants fan worst nightmare came true on Sunday afternoon: Saquon Barkley suffered a torn ACL and will be out for the remainder of the season. While this is a detriment to many, there is still reason for optimism about the 2020 season. This includes the Giants new offensive addition, two-time Pro Bowl running back Devonta Freeman.
Looking Into Saquon Barkley’s Injury & More About Devonta Freeman
Saquon Barkley’s Injury
Early in the second quarter of Sunday’s matchup against the Chicago Bears, Saquon Barkley went down hard after a five yard run. Barkley seemed to be off to a better start than the week before, where he only had six yards on 15 carries. He had an 18-yard run in the first quarter, already tripling his total from Week 1. Unfortunately, his good start and season came to an end after he was helped off the field with a trainer and head coach Joe Judge, unable to put any pressure on his right leg.
It was later feared, then confirmed that Barkley tore his ACL and would miss the remainder of the season. After an MRI the following day, it was discovered that Barkley tore his ACL, partially tore his meniscus and has a strained MCL.
Saquon Barkley’s saddening injury was only one of many, as Sunday was an injury-riddled day for the NFL.
Barkley’s Replacement for 2020
On Tuesday, it was announced that the Giants would be signing former Falcons running back Devonta Freeman to a one-year deal worth up to $3 million.
Freeman, 28, spent six seasons in Atlanta, totaling 3,972 rushing yards and 32 touchdowns. Freeman has 43 total touchdowns since entering the league in 2014, which is tied 11th in the NFL. His best season came in 2016, when he rushed for 1,079 yards and 11 touchdowns, while adding 578 yards and three more scores through the air.
Freeman is not what he once was, however. Since his career-best year in 2016, Freeman has failed to hit the 1,000 rushing yard mark. After dealing with injury in 2018, he rushed for 656 yards and two touchdowns in 2019, while only averaging 3.6 yards per carry, the worst of his career.
Outlook for 2020
The Giants running back room now consists of Devonta Freeman, Dion Lewis and Wayne Gallman. With Barkley gone for the rest of the year, these three will be tasked for picking up the workload #26 left behind. Joe Judge provided some words on signing Freeman after Wednesday’s practice.
“I think he’s got some juice left in the tank,” Judge said. “We’ll give him the opportunity to prove that.”
Judge also mentioned that they will try their best to get Freeman ready for Sunday, since he does not know the full playbook yet.
While Freeman may not play as much this week due to lack of time, he will most likely play more next week and beyond as he learns the offense. Freeman, Lewis and Gallman will have to get the run game going immediately, as the Giants rank dead last in the league in rushing yards per game with 52.
If this running back committee can fill the void that Barkley has left behind, it will open up the offense and take less pressure off of Daniel Jones.
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