Giants’ Saquon Barkley has retired, sent off with Cowboys ankle injury | How many more matches could he miss?


ARLINGTON, Texas – Giants star running back Saquon Barkley was taken off the sideline in the first quarter of Sunday’s game against the Cowboys.

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Barkley has an injured left ankle. He had to be helped to get on the cart and could not put weight on his left leg. A TV call of Barkley’s injured ankle showed significant and immediate swelling.

Barkley appears to have a lateral (low) ankle sprain, rather than a high ankle sprain (which can be a more problematic injury), according to to Dr. David Chao, a former NFL team doctor. However, the first indications are that this ankle sprain is not benign, Chao tweeted.

Barkley has already been ruled out from Sunday’s game – which the Giants were leading 3-0 by the time of his exit – and it’s unclear how much time he could be missing in the weeks to come. An MRI will reveal the full extent of his damage to his ankle.

Still, it’s obvious: Barkley’s latest injury is bad news for the Giants’ patchy offense – and for Barkley, who looked better and better in the first few weeks of his return season. Last week was his first full training every day.

But now, in Game 5 of the season, he’s sidelined again, as the Giants 1-3 try to save their season. The Giants were already playing Sunday’s game without two important wide receivers, Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton, both of whom are treating hamstring injuries.

Barkley limped off the pitch with 6:13 left in the first quarter, after a Daniel Jones pass intended for him sailed high.

Giants medical staff examined Barkley’s lower leg. At one point Barkley stood up – apparently trying to test his injury – but then shook his head to say no and sat back down.

Barkley returned from knee surgery for Week 1 this season, after his severe knee injury (including an ACL tear) limited him to two games last season. Barkley’s knee injury was to his right leg – the opposite side of that current ankle injury.

Barkley struggled with a high right ankle sprain for most of 2019, when he still played in 13 games but was not his usual dynamic self. He was injured in the third week that year.

This season is important for Barkley, who is auditioning for a lucrative long-term contract, as he surely doesn’t want to play 2022 on the fifth-year option in his rookie deal.

And now it looks like he might be away for at least a little while – again.

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Darryl Slater can be reached at [email protected].

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