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‘Explosive’ Saquon Barkley could be primed for big season

As part of ESPN’s preseason overview of all 32 teams, beat writer Jordan Raanan wrote that Giants running back Saquon Barkley has been running “more decisively and harder” than last year, adding, “This is the most explosive he has looked in a while.”

Barkley has plenty to prove this season after injuries gave way to on-field struggles over the past three years. The former No. 2 overall pick missed three games with a sprained right ankle in 2019, and he missed nearly all of 2020 with a torn right ACL. 

Barkley didn’t look fully comfortable in 2021 as he tried to get back to full strength after the ACL injury, and a left ankle injury only complicated his recovery. He played 13 games last season, rushing for 593 yards on only 3.7 yards per carry. 

Moving on from the sluggish offenses of the Joe Judge era could help Barkley get his career back on track. Even with a 17th game in 2021, the Giants are coming off consecutive seasons scoring under 300 points for the first time since 1998-1999.

New head coach Brian Daboll also told reporters last month that Barkley looked “explosive,” and the impact of a coach with a strong offensive background shouldn’t be understated for a player who posted more than 2,000 scrimmage yards just years ago. Barkley has proven he can deliver when healthy:

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