Barkley practiced on a limited basis Tuesday as the injury-depleted Giants (2-3) got ready for Thursday night’s game against the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots (5-0).
The 2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, Barkley has missed the past two games with high sprain to his right ankle. He was hurt on Sept. 15 against the Buccaneers in Tampa, Florida.
Compounding the problem for New York was the concussion sustained this past weekend by running back Wayne Gallman in the 28-10 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Gallman is in the concussion protocol and it has left the Giants with two healthy running backs, Eli Penny and rookie Jon Hilliman.
Barkley has insisted he feels better, but he also understands it might be better for him to skip the Patriots’ game and return 10 days later, when the Giants play host to the Arizona Cardinals.
After he was hurt, there were reports the No. 2 overall pick in last year’s draft might miss up to two months. He started working out on the field with trainers last week. He had a limited part in practice on Friday but was not active for the game with Minnesota.
If there was any indication whether Barkley would play, his travel bag was not in front of his locker after practice Tuesday. Healthy teammates had their bags out and packed.
“I expect to get on the bus,” Barkley said of traveling to the game. “That’s the goal. That’s the mindset I have, so that is how I am attacking it every single day, every single week. Get ready for the Patriots and do what I can to help the team win.”
Barkley rushed for 1,307 yards and 11 touchdowns and caught 91 passes for 721 yards and four TDs last season. He has a team-high 237 yards rushing and a TD this season and caught 11 passes for 74 yards in two-plus games this season.
Hilliman, the Rutgers rookie who was signed off the practice squad, has had 19 carries for 53 yards. Penny, who seemed to get more work after Gallman was hurt, has eight rushes for 30 yards.
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