New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley didn't put up an impressive performance against the Denver Broncos in Week 1 but he was happy with how his return to the field went. Barkley, who suffered a torn ACL injury in Week 2 of the 2020 season, returned to the field on Sunday against the Broncos.
In 28 total snaps, Barkley rushed 10 times for 26 yards and he also had one catch for 1 yard. "Nothing alarmed me. I guess you can say that is a positive sign," Barkley said. Earlier in the week, Barkley was making a good progress in the practice but he was questionable for the game.
On Saturday, Barkley was medically cleared to play. "I was more nervous early in the week when the conversations started happening," he said. "When I woke up today, I had no nerves. At the end of the day, it's football.
If anything, it was more excitement, just happy to be back out there. "I know I put a lot of hard work -- blood, sweat and tears -- just to get to this moment and come out healthy out of this game. It happened. Hit that milestone.
I was happy I was able to play in Week 1. That was a goal of mine, to get out there and help my team win. Now it's actually getting out there and helping my team win."
Barkley hopes his knee responds well
"Right now I'm going to go home and see how my knee responds," Barkley said.
"Take it day by day." Barkley suffered one of the worst injuries and Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard suggested it will take time for Barkley before he returns to his old form. "I mean, coming off an injury like that, a lot of the stuff is mental," Shepard, who was the Giants' most effective offensive weapon with seven catches for 113 yards and a touchdown.
"I didn't sense he had any mental stuff going on. I felt he hit the hole hard, took some hits. That is what I wanted to see, to be able to bounce back up and keep on pushing." Barkley was one of the most dominant running backs before going down with an injury.
"He'll gradually keep getting better and better," Shepard said. "That is his first time out there in a long time. So I'm just proud to see him out there and happy to be out there playing with him again."