Giants defensive coordinator Wink Martindale is blown away by the number of injuries he suffered in his first season in New York.
“It’s just one of those years where you walk around shaking your head like, ‘I can’t believe this,'” Martindale said Thursday. that we have suffered.”
Thursday’s new injury hit the offense: running back Saquon Barkley appeared limited in practice with a neck injury.
It is Barkley’s first appearance on the Giants’ official injury report since mid-October, when he was restricted on October 19-20 with a right shoulder injury leading to a road win over the Jaguars. of Jacksonville.
He’s expected to play Sunday when the Giants (7-4-1) host the Philadelphia Eagles (11-1), but that may help explain his recent nose drop in production, including his seven carries for three yards in the second half last Sunday and overtime against Washington.
Barkley spoke to the media on Thursday before being added to the injury report.
When asked how he was feeling physically, Barkley said: “I feel like it’s week 14 of the season, it doesn’t matter if I got 200 touches or 10 touches. It’s a chore. It is the wear and tear of the mind, of the body. That’s the nature of the NFL but also its beauty.
Barkley said he heard reviews for his recent play.
“I know people say I’m slowing down,” he said. “I really don’t see it that way. I think we faced some tough teams. I think it was November, December football and we played some meaningful games, played some really good teams and they did a really good job.
“Now it’s on my side,” he added. “Where I have to continue to reflect on myself and see what I can do best and take advantage of the opportunities that come my way.”
To be fair to Barkley, though, he hasn’t always been running like he’s perfectly healthy lately.
He went out of bounds in a run against the commanders rather than fight for a few more meters and turned his body almost as if to avoid contact with the right shoulder he initially injured on October 9 in London against the Green Bay Packers.
Interestingly, he is not listed with a shoulder injury. The Giants call it neck disease, the same designation the team gave to both defensive tackle Leonard Williams and left guard Josh Ezeudu, who were absent from practices.
The same goes for one of the most injured teams in the NFL each year, which was also hit this year by a series of sprained MCLs and torn ACLs.
The Giants have missed a total of 191 player games this season due to injuries and health protocols, according to ManGamesLost.com, which is tied for third in the NFL with the Denver Broncos. Only the Tennessee Titans (204) and New Orleans Saints (203) missed more.
From a football perspective, the Giants offensive line hasn’t been as good a run blocker lately either, which hasn’t helped the cause. And Barkley’s numbers have plummeted.
He’s exceeded 65 rushing yards in just one of the last five games. And he’s averaging just 3.3 yards per carry during the Giants’ 1-3-1 streak, including 2.7 yards per carry in their three recent losses and the tie.
Starting left guard Ben Bredeson (knee) could come off injured reserve on Sunday, which would help. It might not be a coincidence that the Giants’ running game has fallen off a cliff since he’s been out.
Still, if Barkley’s injury limits his availability or use and hampers his production, that would be a problem not just for Sunday’s game, but for the Giants’ Week 15 pivotal game Sunday night in Washington, and for their push. toward a playoff berth that seems more tenuous by the day.
GIANTS INJURY REPORT
Did not participate: CB Adoree Jackson (knee), DL Williams (neck), LG Ezeudu (neck), LG Shane Lemieux (toe). Limit: RB Barkley (neck), CB Nick McCloud (hamstrings), CB Darnay Holmes (shoulder), WR Richie James (knee), DL Henry Mondeaux (knee).
EAGLES INJURY REPORT
Did not participate: LB Shaun Bradley (hamstring). Limit: WR Quez Watkins (shoulder), LB Kyzir White (ankle). The Eagles also rested 10 healthy veterans.