New York Giants fans didn’t have much to look forward to coming into the 2020-21 NFL season, but Saquon Barkley remained one of the few bright spots on the roster.
Barkley is one of the most dynamic offensive weapons in the entire league, and he can singlehandedly lead the Giants to a win when he dominates a game. The third-year RB was looking to make another jump in 2020, but a devastating injury just derailed his season, and maybe his career.
Saquon Barkley tore his ACL Sunday against the Chicago Bears
The Giants suffered a brutal loss Sunday against the Bears after mounting a comeback in the second half, but the loss itself was the least of their worries.
Earlier in the game, Barkley was carted off the field after suffering an apparent leg injury. He was tackled out of bounds on a run and immediately started writhing in pain on the sidelines.
A few hours later, Giants fans’ biggest fears were realized. Barkley was diagnosed with an ACL tear of his right knee, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. He will undergo an MRI tomorrow, but the team expects him to be out for the season.
The Giants might’ve wasted Barkley’s prime
The news out of New York is obviously devastating for the 2020-21 season, but the impact may be felt beyond just this year. Barkley might never be the same running back again, and the Giants might’ve ruined his prime surrounding him with a poor roster for years.
When the Giants drafted Barkley No. 2 overall in 2018, some fans were skeptical. New York had so many other weaknesses on the roster it could’ve addressed with the pick, but they decided to draft a running back instead.
In Barkley’s first two seasons, the Giants went a combined 9-23. Barkley recorded over 1,000 rushing yards in both seasons, but it didn’t translate to much success in the wins column. He’s a generational star at running back, but the Giants haven’t done him any favors in the prime of his athletic career.
How have running backs fared after suffering a torn ACL?
Barkley is a freak of nature, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him return from his ACL injury and reclaim his label of one of the top running backs in the league. After all, he’s still just 23 years old, and he hasn’t suffered any major injuries prior to this one.
But most RBs who suffer ACL tears aren’t as effective when they return to the field. According to FantasyLabs, running backs who suffered ACL tears from 1999-2013 saw their average yards per carry drop from 4.51 to 4.17. Their touchdown numbers also dropped significantly.
Hopefully for Saquon and the Giants, he can fare better than those RBs in the past.