NY Giants’ Devontae Booker proves he belongs, hip x-ray negatives
Flashing explosiveness, burst, and the ability to shoulder a heavy workload, Devontae Booker looked like the NY Giants’ featured back in Sunday’s win over the Raiders
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Through the first eight weeks of the season, the NY Giants’ running backs had been a bit of an afterthought.
Entering Sunday, the NY Giants didn’t have a 100-yard rusher, and Daniel Jones was the team’s leading rusher on the season … With 221 yards.
That is, until Devontae Booker emerged against the Last Vegas Raiders, pacing New York with 99 yards, briefly flirting with a 102-yard performance in the fourth quarter, and in the process showing that he deserves a role in this offense after the bye week. Even after Saquon Barkley returns.
Sunday seemed to mean much more for Booker, in his first outing against his former team.
“We knew what was at stake,” Booker said afterwards. “We knew we had a bye coming up, but we wanted to out and prove we could run the ball on these guys.”
As the Raiders held Daniel Jones largely in check, with the Giants only producing 110 passing yards, 38 of them on a passing touchdown to Evan Engram, Booker and the ground game become the driving force of New York’s offense.
“The line blocked their ass off tonight,” Booker explained. “They were opening up holes for me to run through, and we just did whatever we needed to do on the offensive side to get this win.”
Booker, the only natural halfback who was active for the NY Giants Sunday, has made four consecutive starts in relief of Saquon Barkley, who is still recovering from an ankle injury. Like Barkley, Booker also got dinged on Sunday, suffering a hip injury that required an X-ray.
But, Booker said he was “waiting to go back in,” at the end of the game, a clear indication that his injury isn’t severe.
After Sunday, though, and after rushing for 315 yards and two touchdowns through the first nine weeks, Booker deserves a role in a backfield rotation even once Barkley returns.
However, after the strongest performance of his season, Booker isn’t looking to make waves.
“I’ll leave that up to the coaches,” Booker says. “Whatever they decide. I’m just going to enjoy this, come back from the bye week, and see what happens.”
Matt Lombardo is FanSided’s National NFL Insider and writes Between The Hash Marks each Wednesday. Email Matt: Matt.Lombardo@FanSided.com.