Patriots coach Bill Belichick is a master of finding positives about the worst teams on the schedule, but there are times when he doesn’t have to work that hard to find things to praise.
One example is Giants running back Saquon Barkley. Belichick ran through a laundry list of things Barkley does well — good vision, good quickness, he can play in space, he’s elusive, he’s got power — while explaining why the Patriots would be OK with Barkley missing a third straight game with an ankle injury.
“He’s an outstanding player,” Belichick said on Monday. “You’re right, we haven’t faced him, and I hope we don’t, but we need to be ready for him. He’s a very competitive guy, I’m sure he’s doing all he can to get ready to go. He was close last week, so we’ll probably get him.”
Giants head coach Pat Shurmur would only say that “there’s a possibility” that Barkley will play this week. The running back was listed as a limited participant in Monday’s practice, although that was only an estimation as the Giants didn’t actually practice.
We’ll see what happens when they do get back on the field. If Barkley doesn’t go, the Giants’ top back will likely be undrafted rookie Jon Hilliman as Wayne Gallman suffered a concussion in the loss to the Vikings.