Saquon Barkley is Rehabbing Much More Than His Knee After Devastating Injury

Saquon Barkley saw his 2020 season come to a screeching halt in Week 2 against the Chicago Bears. Barkley was carted off the field after suffering an ACL injury that landed him in injured reserve and cost him the rest of the season. The New York Giants star running back has been spending the offseason undergoing a lot of rehab, and it isn’t all just for his knee.

Saquon Barkley can be one of the all-time greats

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He’s only played one full season in the NFL and Saquon Barkley has proven he’s a star. Barkley played his college football at Penn State and was selected in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft. The New York Giants took him with the second overall pick behind Baker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns.

Barkley wasted no time in making some noise in the NFL. In his rookie season, Barkley started all 16 games in which he played and rushed for 1,307 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was also a major force out of the backfield as a receiver, catching 91 passes for 721 yards and four touchdown receptions. Barkley was named to the Pro Bowl in the 2018 season.

In his second year, a high ankle sprain cut out three games of his season. Despite the injury, Barkley still managed to eclipse the 1,000-yard rushing mark with 1,003 yards and six touchdowns. He added 52 catches for 438 yards and two more scores through the air.

Barkley suffered a devastating injury in Week 2

Saquon Barkley’s third season in the NFL came to a crashing halt at Soldier Field in 2020 when he went down with a knee injury. Barkley was carted off the field and wound up missing the last 14 games of the season. Barkley had been a major factor in the Giants’ offense, touching the ball 625 times in the first two years of his NFL career. Sitting on the sidelines was tough for the former Pro Bowler.

“It’s definitely a challenge,” he said in December, according to Giants.com. “Just the fact that the game that I love and been playing since I was seven is taken away from me a little bit. That definitely is challenging. But I’m just trying to be as supportive as I can. I love seeing my guys out there balling, doing their thing, especially the way we’re playing right now. That definitely makes life a lot easier. I have a lot of great people in my corner, with my family, my friends staying with me and pushing me through. That’s really the focus.

Barkley knows he’s a competitor and is eager to get back on the field. “Yes, I’m a competitor and I would love to have this over yesterday,” he said. “But that’s not the case, so just have to come with that mindset of taking the same approach as I would if I was on the football field, trying to get better every single day, taking that into rehab.”

The rehab extends beyond the knee

Saquon Barkley was a recent guest on Hotboxin’ With Mike Tyson, a podcast co-hosted by Tyson and Jeremy Piven. Barkley addressed his rebab situation and he said his rehab extends well beyond his knee.

“I tore my ACL, my MCL, and my meniscus,” Barkley said. “(Adrian Peterson) probably had the best comeback story, especially at running back, after tearing his knee up. I was talking to his trainer and the biggest thing I took from it was him saying we didn’t just rehab the knee. We rehabbed the whole body. We focused on the toes all the way up to the brain, to the mind.

“I feel like everything happened for a reason. I’m a big believer in that. Adversity is going to come in everyone’s life and you have to welcome it and accept the challenges. That’s something that I’m facing right now and I’m going to try to use that to catapult me into being a better player than I was. Not just on the field, but leadership, understanding the game – the mental part of it.”

All statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference.