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Saquon Barkley Injury Update: Is Giants’ stud RB nearing a return?

Due to an ankle injury, the New York Giants have been without RB Saquon Barkley since Week 5. Barkley sprained his ankle against the Cowboys and hasn’t played since. Fresh off their bye, the Giants are as healthy as they’ve been all season. Will that include a returning Barkley in Week 11?

Saquon Barkley’s injury status

Initially, Barkley’s ankle sprain was supposed to cost him 2-3 weeks. That would’ve put him on track for a Week 9 return. Given his status as the Giants’ franchise player, the team elected to hold him out Week 9 with the bye imminent in an effort to make sure he comes back at 100%.

Prior to the bye week, Barkley started to get some work in at practices but did not officially practice. The Giants were also dealing with a false COVID outbreak spawned by a series of false-positive tests. The situation kept Barkley away from the team when he would otherwise have been rehabbing his ankle.

What is the latest update on Barkley’s injury?

Teams do not officially begin practice for the upcoming game until Wednesday. However, with the Giants coming out of a bye, they held a practice on Monday, which Barkley participated in. To what extent? We don’t know. As it was not an official practice, the team was not required to release an injury report.

Any news we have comes from beat reporters. ESPN’s Jordan Raanan observed only Sterling Shepard (quad) not on the main field among the Giants’ skill players. He tweeted out a couple of videos of Barkley getting work in with the comment, “RB Saquon Barkley (ankle) practicing for the first time since the injury over a month ago. Looking good for next Monday night.”

Will Saquon Barkley play during Monday Night Football?

The biggest potential wrinkle for fantasy managers is the fact that the Giants and Bucs play Monday night. If Barkley’s status remains up in the air, fantasy managers will either have to roll the dice on Barkley playing or adjust their lineups such that they have a contingency plan in place in the event he doesn’t play.

From the sounds of it, Barkley appears poised to return after a four-game absence. My money is on Barkley not only making his return but not even being listed on the injury report.

Barkley likely would have played Week 10 had the Giants had a game. I have a hard time believing he would be a game-time decision coming out of the bye. If Barkley isn’t fully recovered from a standard low-ankle sprain after more than a month, fantasy managers and the Giants alike should be very concerned.

Ultimately, Barkley is either ready or he’s not. Based on the nature of his injury and what we’re hearing from beat reporters, I’m extremely optimistic Barkley makes his long-awaited return Monday night in Tampa Bay.

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