Saquon Barkley says he 'felt fine' returning weeks early from ankle sprain, but the Giants' loss hurt
Barkley had 72 yards and a touchdown in his first game back from an ankle sprain
Four weeks after Saquon Barkley suffered a high ankle sprain that was supposed to keep him out for six weeks, he was back on the field as the starting running back for the New York Giants. Barkley defied the odds in his return, with 18 carries for 72 yards and a touchdown while also having three catches for eight yards.
The good news for the Giants? Barkley didn't aggravate his injury after having to sit out for a few minutes in the third quarter. The bad news? Barkley couldn't end the Giants' losing streak, which now stands at three games.
"I felt like I was running well," Barkley said. "I think I did a little too much on some stuff, but that's part of my game. Sometimes it doesn't work, most of the time it works, so just have to go watch film and see what I could do better to help my team win.
"I think you guys watched the game just as much as I played it, cutting was fine. I think I broke some long ones today, made some people miss. Even when I went negative, I made some people miss. I think I did fine, I know I felt fine. I didn't do enough to help my team win."
While Barkley was okay, the Giants offense still struggled. New York had just 263 yards of offense against an Arizona Cardinals defense that allowed 414 yards per game heading into the contest. The Giants scored just 21 points against a defense that allowed 28.5 points per game, even with the poor weather conditions.
"I think we just have to do a better job because we didn't win the game," Barkley said. "I don't care if we play the worst defense or the best defense if we won, 3-0, the object of the game is winning football games. You have to play complementary football, you have to have three phases of your team playing well. Our defense played well, special teams made some big plays for us, we didn't make enough plays. We made a lot of plays, but we didn't make enough because we didn't put up more points than them."
Barkley's longest run was 20 yards and his 4.0 yards per carry average was his lowest in a full game he's played this year (and since Week 16 of last season). While Barkley ran better in the second half, he was frustrated over the result ... not over having to get his ankle taped up.
"I think the offensive line did a tremendous job blocking," Barkley said. "We were able to get downhill, even though, I wouldn't say banged it up, but someone landed on it. I knew that was part of the healing process and that's part of football, it's going to happen.
"You just have to grind it out and I was able to do that. No matter what, if I had a better second half than first half, we didn't win the game, so it doesn't matter."
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