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Saquon Barkley injury update: Giants star diagnosed with torn ACL

Sep 20, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) is helped off of the field after suffering an injury during the second quarter against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The injury bug hit multiple NFL teams during the early slate of Week 2 action on Sunday. We saw multiple star players go down to injury for the defending NFC champs in their blowout win over the New York Jets.

Staying in Jersey, stud New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley exited in the first half of his team’s game against the Chicago Bears. Unfortunately, the injury news took another unfortunate turn on Monday morning.

Saquon Barkley injury update: New York Giants star RB tore ACL

This is some absolutely horrible news right here. Barkley, 23, was coming off a terrible Week 1 performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers that saw him go for six rushing yards on 15 attempts.

Related: Winners/losers of Steelers victory of Giants

With that said, he’s the engine that makes the Giants go on offense. Young quarterback Daniel Jones has relied a lot on the former Penn State back as an outlet in the passing game. That included six receptions in the Giants’ season opener last week. Overall, Barkley is among the best backs in the NFL.

Saquon Barkley stats

The No. 2 overall pick of New York back in 2018, Barkley tallied a whopping 2,028 total yards and 15 touchdowns at a clip of 5.8 yards per touch en route to earning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors that season.

Barkley did struggle to an extent with injuries last season. With that said, he was still able to go for 1,441 total yards and eight touchdowns.

Impact of Saquon Barkley’s injury

Obviously, Daniel Jones is now going to be in for some major struggles as a sophomore starting quarterback in the NFL. Inexperienced players of his ilk tend to rely a lot on receiving running backs. Barkley is just that (149 catches in 30 career games).

With Barkley now likely sidelined for the remainder of the season, New York will be forced to rely on a combination of Dion Lewis and Wayne Gallman. From a fantasy perspective, Lewis becomes a waiver-wire option in point-per-reception (PPR) leagues. Expect Jones to continue with the trend of targeting running backs out of the backfield.

New York is bringing Devonta Freeman, released by the Atlanta Falcons this offseason, in for a workout. A two-time Pro Bowl selection, Freeman averaged just 3.6 yards per carry in 2019 with the Falcons. The 28-year-old is no longer the player that racked up consecutive 1,000-yard, 11-touchdowns seasons from 2015-’16 in Atlanta, but he would be a solid addition for New York’s depleted backfield. But, given the state of the Giants’ offensive line, it would be hard to trust him as a fantasy starter if he signed.

From a team-wide perspective, Barkley’s injury pretty much ends any hopes of contention. New York dropped Sunday’s game against Chicago by the score of 17-13 to fall to 0-2 on the young season.