How does Jay Ajayi fit into this picture? Right when there seemed to be a spark of hope in New York with the surprisingly terrific debut of Daniel “Danny Dimes” Jones, Giants star running back Saquon Barkley went down with an ankle injury. After coming back in a boot and walking on crutches, one could only assume the worst.
MRI revealed Giants’ RB Saquon Barkley suffered a high ankle sprain that could sideline him anywhere from 4-8 weeks, per source. Longer timeline is considered more likely; the Giants have a bye in week 11, which could give him eight weeks to recover and return for last six games.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 23, 2019
With Barkley sidelined for what seems to be a substantial period of time, the Giants may have to start looking for suitable replacements while waiting for Barkley to recover.
Wayne Gallman is the only other running back listed on the Giants’ depth chart, but there are decent players on the market who can add depth to the position, one being former Miami Dolphin and Philadelphia Eagle Jay Ajayi.
Ajayi is only three years removed from a season in which he played 15 games and went for over 1,200 yards with eight touchdowns. Given the position the Giants are in, they can’t be too picky. A physical runner whose rugby experience helped him become one of the hardest backs to get on the ground, Jay Ajayi is the best fit for what the Giants lost with Barkley’s injury.
After getting traded from Miami to Philadelphia, Ajayi did make an impact with Philadelphia but then suffered a torn ACL and was lost for the season. Although healthy now, Ajayi was released by the Eagles and remains the biggest name — and possibly the player with the most left in the tank — available on the market. He is only 26 years old.
The Giants should not bank that they will be getting the same kind of performances from Daniel Jones every week, especially since they will be facing tougher defenses than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Opponents will be better prepared for what Jones brings to the table. With the running back position seemingly being devalued every year, the Giants should take advantage of the players on the open market; they can bring value to a team that is struggling to find a running game on its roster.
Ajayi was an absolute stud for Miami before getting hurt — that should not be forgotten. The Giants might fare better if they add Ajayi and use him as apart of a running back by committee alongside Gallman. As they try to tread water until Barkley is able to come back, New York should reduce expectations in the coming weeks.