Saquon Barkley’s absence changed the entire dynamic for the New York Giants.
The Giants’ star running back left Sunday’s game against the Bears at Soldier Field with a right knee injury. Barkley didn’t put any weight on his leg as he left the field, then he needed to be carted from the Giants bench to the locker room.
In losing Barkley, the Giants lost their best playmaker.
No offense to backup running back Dion Lewis, but he is no Saquon Barkley. Lewis totaled 20 rushing yards on 10 carries. Quarterback Daniel Jones out-gained Lewis on the ground with 21 yards on three carries.
According to a report from the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the initial diagnosis is that Barkley has a torn ACL, although he still must take an MRI to confirm.
“I want to start by saying our thoughts are out there in regards to Saquon,” Bears coach Matt Nagy said. “Hopefully he’s OK. We have so much respect for him as a player, so I hope he’s OK.”
The Giants made their comeback effort without Barkley in the game. They were also missing receiver Sterling Shepard. That didn’t stop them from taking a 17-0 hole, pulling back within 17-13, and giving themselves a chance to win on the final play.
Giants first-year head coach Joe Judge actually assisted in carrying Barkley off the field.
“He’s a big dude,” Judge said. “And I wanted to make sure we get him over there with the least amount of stress on his leg as possible, and tried to just take the weight off.”
Bears running back David Montgomery said he spoke with Barkley over social media prior to the game, picking the Pro Bowler's brain a little bit.
"We talked for a while, just where his head is," Montgomery said. "I'll be praying for him and hope he's OK. But when you see stuff like that, no matter a running back or any other player in general, just knowing that an injury or something can be so detrimental."