As if things with the New York Giants aren’t rough enough, the hits keep coming. Joe Judge’s team has been hit hard by injuries this season, and it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.
Saquon Barkley, the team’s star running back, looked to be on track to play this week. The Giants head coach expressed optimism that Barkley could return against the Las Vegas Raiders.
However, the league continues to be ravaged by COVID-19, and Barkley appears to be another player impacted by the virus.
Another major blow for the Giants in what has been a forgettable season
On Wednesday, news came out about Green Bay Packers star Aaron Rodgers tested positive for coronavirus. Barkley’s test results came in on that same day, and the Giants star landed on the COVID list.
Things are a hot mess in New York with injuries across the board. After Barkley played just two games in the 2020 season, he returned and played five games in 2021.
The situation in New York was turning the corner before Barkley landed on the list, putting his return for Sunday in major doubt with the game against the Raiders just days away. It doesn’t look to be getting any better around the Giants, either.
Closing the facility isn’t a good sign for any team, and all eyes will be around the Giants in what has been a tumultuous season for the New York football team.
Just as Saquon Barkley was nearing his return the virus rears its ugly head
Days before the Raiders game, Judge expressed optimism — if that’s what you want to call out — about Barkley and Kenny Golladay. Albeit, that was before the test results came back and before Barkley landed on the COVID list.
The Giants running back must return negative tests by the weekend, so the next few days will be crucial for the Giants organization on every level.
With just two wins on the year, getting Barkley and Golladay back was going to be a welcomed sign. In Barkley’s absence, Devontae Booker has been holding down the fort as best as he can. He’s carried the ball 12 or more times in the past four weeks and scored two touchdowns in that span despite failing to rush for more than 60 yards in a game.
Nobody can replace Barkley, and the Giants are hurting for some offensive burst — something the former Penn State star will likely bring whenever he comes back to the field.
All eyes on the road ahead for the Giants
The Giants weren’t expected to be a playoff team this season. But, the hope was that they could field a competitive team, and that hasn’t quite been the case.
Sure, injuries are one thing, but this team has major issues to be fixed, and it will take some time. However, Judge’s seat might be burning hot if they can’t rattle off at least a couple of wins.
After the Raiders, the Giants head for the bye — which is terrific news for a team struck hard by the injury bug. Then come games against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Philadelphia Eagles, and Miami Dolphins. If the Giants can’t beat one of the Eagles or the Dolphins, things could get even uglier in New York.
For now, the Giants will hold out any hope for Barkley to return, although it doesn’t look too good.
Stats Courtesy of Pro Football Reference