Saquon Barkley Injury Update Week 14: Will the Giants Running Back Play?

The Giants added Saquon Barkley to the injury report on Thursday with a neck issue -- should fantasy managers be concerned?

We are now firmly in the final stretch of the 2022 NFL season. Daily practice reports are as long as ever, with injury updates pouring in. The New York Giants added Saquon Barkley to Thursday’s practice report with a neck injury.

What do we know about Barkley’s neck, and should fantasy football managers be concerned about whether he will play on Sunday?

Update: On Friday, head coach Brian Daboll told reporters that it’s possible Barkley’s status for Sunday is in doubt. Daboll was hopeful the RB would be able to play but said his neck is still sore.

Saquon Barkley Injury Update

After multiple injury-riddled years, Barkley has been largely healthy for the 2022 season, having yet to miss a game. Unfortunately, the Giants added Barkley to their Week 14 injury report on Thursday with a neck issue.

This is highly concerning for two reasons. First, he wasn’t listed at all on Wednesday. That means Barkley picked up the injury at Thursday’s practice. Midweek downgrades are never good.

Second, it’s a neck injury. There is nothing scarier to see than a player listed with a neck injury. I know this seems alarmist, but we’ve seen neck injuries end more seasons and careers than any other injury.

Will Saquon Barkley Play This Sunday?

There doesn’t seem to be much worry from beat reporters. ESPN’s Jordan Raanan tweeted, “Don’t expect it to affect his ability to play but worth noting.”

With that said, as I mentioned before, midweek downgrades should not be summarily dismissed. If Barkley does not practice on Friday, he will almost certainly not play.

However, it does appear as if this is relatively minor. Based upon Raanan’s reporting, I expect to see Barkley at practice on Friday. Even just a limited session would assuage my fears that I (and many others, I’m sure) would have to play a win-and-in Week 14 fantasy matchup without our RB1.

MORE: Who Should I Start in Fantasy Football Week 14?

Should the unthinkable occur and Barkley not be able to take the field against the Eagles, Matt Breida would be the presumptive favorite to operate as the lead back. However, don’t be surprised if Gary Brightwell ends up getting more burn on early downs with Breida as the primary pass-catching back.

Neither Breida nor Brightwell would be recommended starts for fantasy managers if Barkley didn’t play. If you find yourself compelled to get some action on Giants’ backup running backs, Underdog Fantasy would be a better choice than your seasonal fantasy lineup.

Of course, having to replace Barkley would likely mean scavenging the scrap heap. Both are better than nothing. Last week, Breida played a handful of snaps while Brightwell didn’t see the field. But I have a sneaking suspicion Brightwell would be the better fantasy option.

Hopefully, this ends up not mattering. Be sure to check back on Friday for the Giants’ final injury report.

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