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Giants running back Saquon Barkley unlikely to play vs. Patriots

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley isn’t expected to play on Thursday night against the New England Patriots because of his high ankle sprain, according to Jordan Raanan of ESPN.

Heading into the Minnesota Vikings game, head coach Pat Shurmur wouldn’t immediately rule out Barkley, which made many believe that he could go this week, so this news is a bit disappointing.

On the other hand, it has only been 16 days since he suffered a high ankle sprain, so for an injury that usually takes four-to-eight weeks to recover from, it’s not all that shocking.

Backup running back Wayne Gallman suffered a concussion against the Vikings on Sunday and he also isn’t expected to play, so the Giants are going to be very short-handed in the backfield.

Rookie Jon Hilliman is the only other running back on the roster and he will get the majority of the reps if both guys can’t go. The team also has fullback Eli Penny, who had three carries against the Vikings and is another option out of the backfield.

Beating a team like the Patriots was already an uphill battle, and not having Barkley and Gallman is going to make it very hard to be balanced, which will make life even tougher.

Shurmur said that even though Barkley won’t play this week he is getting closer, the team just wants to make sure he is 100 percent ready when he returns to the field.

“We’ll just do what’s best for the team, and we’ll put him out there when he’s able to play at a high level and protect himself,’’ Shurmur said via the NY Post.