The New York Giants star running back did not return to his team's resounding come-from-behind win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after suffering an ankle injury in the second quarter. The team ruled him out before the start of the second half.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reports that Barkley will undergo an MRI exam on Monday to determine the severity of his ankle injury. Giants coach Pat Shumur did not have an update on Barkley's status after the game except to say he should have more information Monday.
Rapoport later reported that initial tests show that Barkley has a high-ankle sprain, according to sources informed.
Barkley was seen wearing a boot on his right foot on the sideline during the second half.
After falling awkwardly on a six-yard reception near New York's sideline, Barkley was helped into the locker room supported by two team trainers. At the time of his departure, Barkley had just 10 rushing yards on eight carries and 27 receiving yards on four receptions.
Barkley said after the injury was not season-ending.
"Would I say I'm really hurt? No," Barkley told NFL Network's Kimberly Jones after the game. "Could it be way worse? Yes. I'm not out for the season. I'm going to try to do hopefully whatever I can do to get back as quickly as possible. Not just myself but for this team."
With Barkley out of the lineup in the second half, the Giants, led by rookie quarterback Daniel Jones, came back from an 18-point halftime deficit to beat the Bucs, 32-31. For Saquon, the comeback win was bittersweet.
"Personally, it sucks because as a competitor, I just want to be out there," Barkley said. "That was the biggest thing where I was upset with the injury. I hate watching my teammates play. I love being out there, love competing, love playing the sport of football."
Barkley's support for his teammates was most evident as New York sealed its last-second victory. On crutches with his right foot in a boot, Barkley was seen hopping on his left foot with great haste over to his fellow Giants, who were celebrating in one corner of Raymond James Stadium.
Cheerleader might be the role Barkley plays for a while, and that doesn't bode well for Big Blue. Behind Barkley on the depth chart are third-year back Wayne Gallman and Elijhaa Penny, both of whom were with New York last year but neither of whom is a starting-caliber back.
It's unclear when Barkley will be back but the Giants will surely miss him making their future opponents miss in the open field.