Giants running back Saquon Barkley did not play much in the preseason during his first four NFL seasons. But this is a new coaching staff and a new offense, and Barkley finds himself with something to prove in his fifth NFL season.
New head coach Brian Daboll said earlier this week the Giants planned to play “all our guys” in the preseason opener, and even Barkley played.
Barkley had seen six total snaps in his preseason career before Thursday night. The one-time Pro Bowler had five touches on the team’s opening preseason drive.
Barkley had four carries for 13 yards and caught a pass for 8 yards.
The Giants’ opening drive was 13 plays and 68 yards but stalled at the New England 7-yard line. The Giants settled for a Graham Gano chip-shot field goal.
As a rookie, Barkley led the league with 2,028 scrimmage yards and scored 15 total touchdowns on 352 touches. But injuries have slowed him since. Barkley has only 228 touches for 950 scrimmage yards and four total touchdowns in 15 games the past two seasons combined.
The Giants picked up the fifth-year option on Barkley’s contract for this year, but Barkley’s future beyond this season depends on how he plays this season.