TAMPA, Fla. — New York Giants star running back Saquon Barkley needed to be helped to the locker room after injuring his right ankle late in the second quarter Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and he didn’t return to the Giants’ 32-31 win.
Barkley has a high ankle sprain and is scheduled to have an MRI on Monday, sources said. X-rays did not reveal a break.
“I really don’t know too much about the injury, got an X-ray on it,” Barkley said. “Nothing’s wrong with it there. Going to get a better understanding of what it is, and whatever it is, I’m going to work my tail off.”
The expectation is that Barkley will miss some time. The Giants host the Washington Redskins at MetLife Stadium next Sunday. Wayne Gallman will step into the starting role if Barkley is unable to play.
Barkley was injured when his right ankle bent awkwardly while he was tackled by Bucs safety Mike Edwards. Barkley limped to the sideline, where he was immediately attended to by trainers.
The All-Pro running back went to the locker room with the help of trainers. He couldn’t put much pressure on the ankle. He was later seen on the sideline in the second half on crutches and wearing a boot on his injured foot.
Barkley had the ankle heavily wrapped afterward and told ESPN he had a similar injury during his freshman year at Penn State. It forced him to miss two games.
“Could it be way worse? Yes,” Barkley said. “I’m not out for the season. I’m going to try to hopefully do whatever I can do to get back as quickly as possible. Not just for myself but for this team.”
It’s a big blow for a Giants offense that had first-round pick Daniel Jones making his first career start. The Giants were already without two of their top receivers in Golden Tate (suspension) and Cody Latimer (concussion). Tate has one game remaining on his suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Barkley entered Sunday second in the NFL with 227 yards rushing. He was averaging 7.8 yards per carry.
The second-year back had eight carries for 10 yards and four catches on five targets for 27 yards before exiting Sunday’s game with the injury.
Barkley, 22, was named Offensive Rookie of the Year last year after finishing with 2,028 total yards last season.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter contributed to this report.