New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley’s return from injury was underwhelming, but understandable due to the severity of it.
This is a pivotal offseason for Saquon Barkley, and might just play into his future with the New York Giants.
Barkley had the most disappointing season of his career.
This season, Barkley only ran for over 100 yards in one game, with that being the most recent game against the Chicago Bears, where his performance was out of necessity.
The New York Giants’ passing game was atrocious with Mike Glennon, and the run game was all the Giants had in that one.
The unfortunate injury struggles showed up again in 2021, an ankle injury against Dallas kept him out for a few weeks in a moment where he was getting back into his stride.
Through all the adversity, Barkley showed again that he is the most talented player on the roster, and that should carry into 2022.
While there may be rumors of his departure from the team, the hope is that he will remain a New York Giant when this offseason is all said and done. As for a contract, that is up in the air, but he should be wearing blue in 2022.
Many running backs have shorter primes than most positions, but Barkley is a case where he is rehabbing through an injury, and can still return to the performance of his best years.
With his status of a superstar depleting since his injury, there are a few ways he can progress to his return as a top ten running back in this league.
Here are three things New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley most improve this offseason:
3. His ability as a receiving back
When Barkley came into the league he was already one of the most dynamic running backs in the NFL that could run and catch at an extremely high level in the NFL.
The 24-year-old began his career with one of the most impressive rookie seasons of all time from a running back, rushing for 1,307 yards on the ground and 721 yards receiving off 91 receptions.
The Rookie of the Year lit the league on fire in his introduction to the NFL, but he has only regressed from that point.
In 2019 he was still quite impressive, he missed three games but was still able to secure 52 passes for 438 yards along with 1,003 yards on the ground.
The injuries began that year, but there was still a lot to be impressed by from Barkley. In 2021 however, his statistics are about half of what they were in 2019, and there is a clear regression from then on.
The same can be said about the team as a whole, but Barkley’s playmaking ability has been hindered by his injury, and, unfortunately, he is still struggling.
The Giants need to draw up more plays for their generational talent in 2022, the passing game can be opened up with a receiving back such as Barkley, and he needs to be used the way he was in 2018.
This should become much easier with a healthy Daniel Jones or a new quarterback, and a Barkley that has had a year to get back into NFL shape and recover from his knee and ankle injuries.
Barkley will also be able to create more separation from his defenders as his mobility returns along with his confidence in his own body.
The ball should be in the hands of a team’s best athlete as often as possible, and that should happen a lot more for the Giants and Barkley moving forward.