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Giants' comeback thriller marred by Barkley injury

Written by 
Published in Breaking News
Sunday, 17 September 2023 22:58

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The New York Giants tied their biggest come-from-behind win in franchise history, rallying from 21 points down to beat the Arizona Cardinals 31-28 at State Farm Stadium on Sunday. It was a thrilling victory for the visitors, except that it came with a dark cloud cast by the possibility of losing star running back Saquon Barkley to an ankle injury.

Barkley, who scored two touchdowns (one rushing and one receiving), will undergo an MRI on Monday in Arizona to determine the severity of the injury and how much time he could miss, sources told ESPN.

Barkley's ankle was swollen after the game, but the initial thinking, in the words of one source, is that "it's an ordinary [sprain], rather than a high-ankle sprain."

It was clear that Barkley was in pain as he took a cart to the X-ray room after limping off the field. X-rays on the ankle were negative, according to sources.

"I don't know yet," coach Brian Daboll said when asked about the severity of Barkley's injury.

Barkley, who had the lone sour face in the locker room after the Giants erased a 28-7 deficit to even their record, politely declined to comment on the injury, which occurred when the ankle turned awkwardly at the bottom of a pile after a run up the middle with just over a minute remaining.

The Giants have a short turnaround this week and will remain in Arizona before traveling to San Francisco on Wednesday ahead of Thursday night's game against the 49ers. They then have 11 days before hosting the Seattle Seahawks on Oct. 2 on "Monday Night Football" at MetLife Stadium.

Barkley, 26, is playing on a revised franchise tag this year. He's set to become a free agent at the end of the season.

Barkley has a history of ankle injuries. He missed three games in 2019 with a right ankle injury and four games in 2021 with a left ankle injury.

An extended absence could hurt his contract prospects and the Giants' long-term outlook.

Barkley had 17 rushes for 63 yards and six catches for 29 yards Sunday, playing 65 of 67 offensive snaps (97%).

The Giants, meanwhile, potentially saved their season. After losing 40-0 to the Dallas Cowboys a week ago, New York found itself staring down a 20-0 deficit Sunday. Those 60 points the Giants allowed before scoring their first point of the season were the second most allowed before scoring to begin a season since the 1970 merger, and the most since the 1978 Baltimore Colts (86).

For the third time in their history, the Giants came back from down 21 points to win, after also doing so during the 1945 and 1947 seasons. On Sunday, they did it behind a monster second half from quarterback Daniel Jones, who threw for a pair of scores and ran for another.

It all began with a 58-yard pass from Jones to rookie Jalin Hyatt on the first offensive play of the second half.

"We always remained confident," Jones said. "It was getting back to simple execution: trusting it, seeing it and ripping it. We had some opportunities to make plays in the first half. We didn't do it. I knew they'd be there. I just had to execute and give our guys a chance to make those plays. We did it and built on that."

The Giants totaled 358 yards in the second half, compared with 81 in the first.

"The finish that these guys had ... it was good to get a win," Daboll said.

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