Saquon Barkley's sophomore season has not gone how he envisioned it would, but the second-year running back refuses to make excuses about the dip in his -- and the Giants' -- performance.
With the Giants (2-9) losers in their past seven games as they host the NFC North-leading Green Bay Packers (8-3) Sunday at 1 p.m. from MetLife Stadium, Barkley set the record straight after recent outings conjured questions about his health.
Barkley, who missed the Giants' three games from Sept. 29 through Oct. 10 after he suffered a highly sprained right ankle Sept. 22, was emphatic when asked Wednesday about a play from last Sunday's 19-14 loss at the Chicago Bears.
"Did I look hurt? No, so let's stop making the excuse that I'm hurt" - Saquon Barkley says he's healthy pic.twitter.com/iFEMpeM0Ew- Giants Videos (@SNYGiants) November 27, 2019
"Did I look hurt? I know that's what you're going towards, so did I look hurt? No, so let's stop making the excuse that I'm hurt," Barkley said. "I'm not hurt. Let's stop making excuses. I'm not 100 percent. No one's 100 percent. ... I could pull up multiple clips -- multiple clips -- where you could look back and you can see I'm doing the same things that I did in college, that I did in my first year.
"The season's not going the way I would like it. I'm not going to blame anyone else. You've got to point fingers at yourself first. You've got to be better. I've got to be better. And I'm going to keep working. And I wrote in my notes today, 'The great ones figure it out,' and I want to be great. I'm going to figure it out."
Barkley took 17 carries for 59 yards (3.47 average) and caught two passes for one yard against the Bears (5-6), marking his third straight game held out of the end zone.
The 5-foot-11, 233-pounder posted similar peformances in the previous two games -- both Giants losses, between Nov. 4 against the Dallas Cowboys and Nov. 10 vs. the Jets -- and has been held to 44 carries for 88 yards (2.0 average) and 13 receptions for 98 yards (7.54 average) in the past three outings.
While the Giants have sputtered on offense and Barkley expects more from himself, he admitted that the unit altogether needs to get going in the right direction to salvage whatever is left of the season.
"It's not that I feel a burden on me to do more, but it's just our season," Barkley said. "Like, we're doing this well, something here, we have these guys up then this guy's not healthy. And it's just like up and down, up and down, up and down, up and down. And those are the things that every team faces and we've been facing this year. ... But I don't feel a burden on myself to pick it up. It's not just a one-man sport. That's why it's the greatest team sport to play. It takes all guys on the field and we've just got to click better and mesh better to win these games."