In the fourth quarter of the New York Giants game against the Arizona Cardinals, their superstar running back Saquon Barkley was removed from the game after having his ankle crushed by Cardinals linebacker Krys Barnes. Barkley had to be helped off the field by two trainers and was visibly frustrated on the sideline.
Saquon Barkley was slow to get up and had to be helped off of the field after his latest carry. pic.twitter.com/6Td11ApcTH
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) September 17, 2023
Barkley played a crucial role in the Giants' unbelievable comeback against Arizona. The Giants would then score on four straight offensive drives en route to a 31-28 win. Overcoming the 20-point deficit tied a franchise record for the biggest comeback in franchise history. Two of the Giants' scores were touchdowns from Barkley. His first score was a one-yard rush and the second a nine-yard receiving touchdown where Barkley made an incredible dive over the pylon.
The injury for Barkley could not have come at a worse time. This offseason, Barkley went through a contentious struggle to receive a long-term contract from the Giants. The team initially offered Barkley to play on the franchise tag, but the former second-overall-pick initially refused to play without a multi-year contract. Threatening to sit out the 2023 season, the two sides finally came to an agreement in the days leading up to the beginning of training camp in July.
The contract, however, was only a one-year deal worth up to $11 million. Injuries in a contract year are detrimental for any player, but especially for a running back who turns 27 next February. The running back position is arguably the most fitting match for the common saying that the NFL really stands for "not for long." With most backs' production falling off a cliff once they reach their late 20's, most teams are reluctant to offer them long-term deals. It's a shame to witness a player of Barkley's caliber suffer potentially another long-term injury that will likely cost him millions of dollars in future contracts.
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