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HomeSportsSaquon Barkley comeback timeline: How Giants RB rediscovered old form after 2020...

Saquon Barkley comeback timeline: How Giants RB rediscovered old form after 2020 ACL tear

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The Giants’ rise from NFC basement-dweller to legitimate playoff contender has been the result of a few factors, but Saquon Barkley’s re-emergence is near the top of the list.

After battling numerous injuries over the last two seasons, Barkley has turned back the clock to his rookie season and become one of the NFL’s most impactful running backs.

You could make the case he’s turned back the clock to Adrian Peterson’s peak, when the legendary running back, coming off of injury, willed a Vikings team with a limited passing game to the playoffs. Through 10 games, the Giants are 7-3 despite numerous wide receiver injuries and the fifth-fewest passing yards in the league.

There is still work to be done if the Giants want to secure a surprise playoff berth, and Barkley is set to play a massive role down the stretch as he continues to gain confidence after years of disappointment. 

MORE: Giants would ‘consider’ adding Odell Beckham Jr. when healthy, GM says

Take a look at how Barkley battled back from injuries and regained his form.

Saquon Barkley career timeline

2018: While the season didn’t go as planned for the Giants, Barkley won Offensive Rookie of the Year honors after totaling 2,028 scrimmage yards. The No. 2 pick averaged five yards per carry and earned a Pro Bowl selection.

September 2019: Barkley suffered a high-ankle sprain and was ruled out indefinitely. He would only miss three games but admitted after the season that he was limited by the injury the rest of the way. Still, Barkley recorded a second consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season. 

September 2020: Barkley tore his ACL in a loss to the Bears, ending his season after only two games.

October 2021: Barkley suffered another sprained ankle, forcing him to miss a month of action.

2021: Barkley managed to play 13 games but struggled with efficiency, averaging only 3.7 yards per carry in a sluggish Giants offense. Barkley’s 4.6 yards per target through the air also marked a significant drop from his career average.

August 2022: Barkley tells reporters during training camp that he feels “explosive” after fully recovering from injury-plagued seasons.

MORE: Giants’ Saquon Barkley optimistic heading into season: ‘F— everybody, I’m ready to go crazy’

2022: Barkley is on the doorstep of a third 1,000-yard rushing season with seven games remaining. With multiple wide receivers going down, he’s become the centerpiece of Brian Daboll’s offense and helped propel the Giants to an unexpected 7-3 start.

Saquon Barkley career stats

Year Games Rush Yards YDS/ATT Rec. Yards Total TDs
2018 16 1,307 5.0 721 15
2019 13 1,003 4.6 438 8
2020 2 34 1.8 60 0
2021 13 593 3.7 263 4
2022 10 953 4.5 210 6
Total 54 3,890 4.5 1,692 33


Credit: sportingnews.com

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