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Giants RB Saquon Barkley has ‘no excuse’ for not hustling after crucial fumble

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley doesn’t make many mistakes, but on Sunday, he made a gaffe that may have cost his team the game against the Detroit Lions.

Early on in the game, rookie quarterback Daniel Jones was in the process of being sacked and threw an ill-advised backward pass, one that Barkley could have scooped up.

Instead, Barkley stood and watched as Lions linebacker (and former Giant) Devon Kennard recovered the fumble and took it in for a score to give Detroit a 7-0 lead.

Afterward, Barkley was remorseful for his lack of hustle:

“I thought it was an incomplete pass, but I had to have better effort on that play,” Barkley said, according to James Kratch of NJ Advance Media. “That’s not who I am, that’s not the type of player I am, that’s not the reason why I’m a captain. I have to have better effort on that play.”

Barkley also carried the ball 19 times for just 64 yards, his lowest rushing output since totaling 10 yards on eight attempts during the Giants’ Week 3 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a game Barkley exited in the first half due to an ankle injury.

He did log eight catches for 79 yards and a score against the Lions, but Barkley is still upset with his lack of stick-to-itiveness:

“I think they did a really good job delaying the blitz. Once I turned to go, he blitzed and dropped on me, he got pressure on Daniel,” Barkley said. “Daniel went to throw a check-down ball to me and it hit the ground. There is no excuse.”

New York fell to 2-6 with the loss.