Giants might get Saquon Barkley back much sooner than anticipated

New York Giants

Giants running back Saquon Barkley could be back much sooner than initially believed from his high ankle sprain.

New York Giants star running back Saquon Barkley was seen making cuts and moving with relative ease through parts of the morning workout on Wednesday. Barkley, recovering from a high ankle sprain was initially ruled out for up to eight weeks. This development has prompted fans and media across the country to begin speculating on a much shorter recovery.

Could that even mean he returns for Sunday’s game with the Vikings in what is suddenly a very meaningful game for both in the jam-packed NFC?

After practice, head coach Pat Shurmur would not rule out Barkley returning this weekend. While this could just be Shurmur being bullish about his star back, it could also be indicative of internal confidence the initial timeframe estimates were far from accurate.

The team has consistently been optimistic Barkley won’t need the full eight weeks to recover from his high ankle sprain and argued it may be a month or less before the 2018 Rookie of the Year returns to action.

Sunday would represent just two weeks since his injury.

Two additional notes about the pending return of Barkley:

First, the Giants take on the New England Patriots in a Week 6 Thursday Night Football game. It would be much more likely to see the team hold him out until that game, and then give him the extended time off to see how his ankle responds to the game action. If he were to play on Sunday, that would seem to indicate an extremely high level of confidence in him being 100 percent and not fearful of reaggravating the injury.

Second, Barkley’s return to a suddenly competitive roster could help the Giants remain competitive in a crowded NFC. 13 of the conference’s 16 teams are 2-2 or better. Since benching veteran Eli Manning after the second game in favor of Daniel Jones, Shurmur’s squad has won two consecutive games and is right in the thick of the race.

Couple the good news on Barkley with Golden Tate’s return this week from a four-game suspension, and it is certainly an encouraging day to be a Giants fan.

Next: NFL Mock Draft: Washington gets a pass rusher

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