Giants running back Saquon Barkley hasn’t looked like the same player since tearing his ACL during a Week Two game against the Bears at Soldier Field in 2020 and he can’t help but be reminded of that this week.
The Giants are headed back to Chicago this Sunday and Barkley was asked on Wednesday if he’s thinking about what happened the last time he was on that turf as he prepares for the game.
“I try not to think about it,” Barkley said, via Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com. “But it happened. I really don’t try to think about it, I guess, probably more so last year [I did], but this is a whole different season. . . . No, I’m not thinking like, ‘I hate the field.’ I’m excited that I’m healthy enough to be able to go out there and be able to play another game. Like I said, you never know when these are opportunities are going to be taken away from you. That’s my whole mindset is cherish these last two games that we have and go out there and try to finish on a high note.”
Barkley has run 130 times for 461 yards and two touchdowns while catching 38 passes for 244 yards and two touchdowns in 11 games this season. Those numbers are way off where he was in his first two seasons and he’s set for a pivotal fifth season as he tries to show that he can still be a dynamic playmaker ahead of potential free agency in 2023.
Barkley said he isn’t looking that far down the line and is just trying for a positive end to this season, but there’s little doubt that he’ll be a player on the spot when the Giants get back to work next year.