If you read Giants RB Saquon Barkley's stat line from Sunday, you probably would've thought it was a joke. But the one yard he accumulated on 13 carries wasn't a joke in the slighest.
The Jets were able to penetrate the Giants' offensive line to get to Barkley quickly before he could make his way upfield. However, many believe that Barkley is still not 100 percent healthy since returning from a high ankle sprain he sustained in Week 3 against the Bucs.
Barkley has refuted it numerous times up until this point, but not as aggressively as he did on Tuesday when asked about those who believe he should be shut down for the rest of the season given the Giants' 2-8 record and playoff hopes nearly out of the cards.
"The mindset of sitting me out and resting me for the rest of the season is beyond me. I do not agree with it," Barkley said at his locker. "It won't happen. I'm going to keep going 'till I can't go no more. That's the type of player I am and I'm going to do that for my teammates."
Barkley said he still feels fast on the field, and doesn't believe the ankle is hindering him. In fact, he actually got an X-ray on his shoulder after the game Sunday, according to ESPN's Jordan Raanan, but everything appears to be fine on that end.
However, Barkley had to give credit to the Jets for halting anything in the run game on Sunday. The star running back knows that teams are focusing on him in the backfield, and that won't change. Ever.
"Yes. Anyone who knows football or watches the game of football, you can see what the focus was," he explained. "It's been like that a majority of the year -- not just against the Jets but against multiple teams and it's going to be like that for the rest of the season and probably going to be like that for the rest of my career. That comes with the territory."
"Anyone who watches the game of football, you could see what the focus was...it's gonna be like that for the rest of the season, probably gonna be like that for the rest of my career" - @saquon on the Jets defense focusing on him Sunday pic.twitter.com/NdTr0xQ438- Giants Videos (@SNYGiants) November 12, 2019
To start the season, Barkley had two 100-yard games against the Cowboys and Bills in what looked to be the beginning of another stellar season after a breakout rookie campaign. But since that injury, Barkley hasn't amassed 100 yards.
Instead, over his last three games, Barkley has totaled 93 yards on 46 carries.
That's not the production you'd expect from last season's NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Of course, we must note that Nate Solder leaving the game led to their being three Giants replacements on the O-line. Jon Halapio and Mike Remmers were both inactive to start the contest.
Barkley, though, just can't seem to get things going, and maybe the bye week will help him figure out why. It will also help him get off the ankle a bit, but he won't be making that injury excuse at all for the rest of the season.
And the Giants will have No. 26 in pads as long as he can play.
"To say I'm not healthy or this, that and the third, those are just excuses," Barkley said. "Everyone's banged up, everyone's going to do something and I'm not going to let that be an excuse as to why I'm not having a successful season. The reason I'm not having a successful season is because I'm not making enough plays for my team. That's just it."