The New York Giants have officially ruled out running back Saquon Barkley for Thursday night’s game against the San Francisco 49ers. Barkley suffered an ankle sprain in Week 2 and always appeared doubtful to suit for Week 3.
Saquon Barkley Injury Update
Barkley went down late in the fourth quarter of New York’s Week 2 contest against the Arizona Cardinals and had to be helped off the field. He could hardly put any weight on his right leg.
Fortunately, reports subsequently indicated that Barkley was dealing with an “ordinary” ankle sprain (as opposed to the high ankle variety, which can typically sideline players for 4-6 weeks).
GIANTS STATUSES FOR TNF
RB Saquon Barkley (Ankle)
OL Ben Bredeson (Concussion)
OLB Azeez Ojulari (Hamstring)
T Andrew Thomas (Hamstring)
ILB Micah McFadden (Neck)
WR Wan’Dale Robinson (Knee) pic.twitter.com/QQ2aekKITl
— Dan Salomone (@Dan_Salomone) September 20, 2023
Giants head coach Brian Daboll initially refused to rule Barkley out earlier this week, calling him a “quick healer” and saying the veteran back had a chance to play on Thursday night. But the four-day turnaround always made a Week 3 return unlikely.
The 49ers’ defense presents one of the NFL’s stiffest tests for opposing offenses. New York already got taken apart by the Dallas Cowboys’ elite defense in Week 1, then struggled to put up points against the Cardinals — at least, until the end of the third quarter — on Sunday.
Now, they’ll face San Francisco without their most talented skill position player. But Barkley isn’t the only key Giants contributor who’s already been ruled out for Week 3.
Left tackle Andrew Thomas (ankle), guard Ben Bredeson (concussion), and edge rusher Azeez Ojulari (hamstring) will also be sidelined against the 49ers. Joshua Ezeudu gave up one sack while replacing Thomas last week.
Fantasy Fallout From Barkley’s Injury
With the news that Barkley is now out for Thursday’s matchup against the 49ers, Matt Breida should see an uptick in work. However, that does not necessarily mean he needs to be in your starting fantasy football lineups.
Breida will be the lead back for an offense that’s already struggling and is now going up against one of the toughest defenses in the league. He’s outside my top-30 RBs on the week, but he can be plugged into your lineup if you’re in a pinch.
Another player worth mentioning as someone to keep an eye on is rookie RB Eric Gray. Gray has the skill set to be an electric change-of-pace option for New York’s offense and can also be a reliable receiving option out of the backfield.
He shouldn’t be started in fantasy, but if you’re looking for someone to stash in Week 3, Gray’s a fine player to pick up as we see how this backfield shakes out.
— PFN Fantasy Director Kyle Yates