Shurmur 'absolutely' won't shut down Saquon Barkley

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Sunday's frustrating loss to the cross-town rival Jets appeared to also include a potential setback to a franchise cornerstone for the Giants.

Monday, however, has surprisingly brought brighter skies for Big Blue.

Less than 24 hours after Saquon Barkley posted his worst game as a professional (13 carries, one rushing yard, five catches and 30 receiving yards), the running back returned to Giants headquarters Monday feeling much better.

"He's fine," Giants coach Pat Shurmur told reporters. "I saw him today and he said he's feeling a lot better."

Shurmur said after the game Sunday Barkley was "banged up," and the running back could be seen entering the X-ray room after New York's 34-27 loss. Barkley later refused to answer questions pertaining to the X-ray room visit.

Sunday's loss dropped the Giants to 2-8, essentially ensuring another forgotten season in the Big Apple for the rebuilding franchise. Rookie quarterback Daniel Jones had to carry the load in the defeat, completing 26 of 40 passes for 308 yards and four touchdowns. His development and evaluation is now the most important product to be gained from 2019.

In that same vein, Shurmur shut down any thought of intentionally sidelining Barkley this season, telling reporters he will "absolutely not" consider keeping the star running back out of action for the remainder of the season. Shurmur instead shifted the focus on his own shoulders, adding that he will not make any coaching changes during New York's Week 11 bye.

"It's important we coach and play better -- period," Shurmur said.

The Giants currently rank in the bottom fourth of the league in yards per game and yards allowed per game. Even with Sunday's 27-point output, they're still tied for 22nd in the NFL in scoring per game.

Barkley's involvement can only help improve those numbers and push the Giants closer toward Shurmur's goal of playing better. We'll see by January if such a goal has been achieved.

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