The Giants played the final 14 games of the 2020 season without running back Saquon Barkley since he tore his ACL versus the Bears in Week 2.

His absence cost the Giants an essential part of their offense and the offense was terrible without him in the lineup. They completed 31st in points scored and lawns from scrimmage, however their 6-8 record in those video games represents their finest run because Barkley signed up with the team as the second general choice in the 2018 draft.

It was the 2nd straight year that Barkley missed out on time with injuries, but neither that history nor the sketchy history of other running backs who have signed long-term handle their teams has Giants co-owner John Mara rethinking a prolonged future with the team.

” It was brutal to watch him go down in Week 2,” Mara said at a Wednesday press conference. “He’s such a fundamental part of this team, not only for what he does on the field however the management and all of the intangibles he gives us off the field. That was really a gut-punch. Listen, I’m still delighted that we have him. I think knowing him, he’s going to come back stronger than ever and be a big part of this group next year. In terms of what the time table is, it’s difficult to predict that right now. I understand our medical people are extremely pleased with the development he’s made. I certainly expect him to be a Giant for a long time.”

The Giants don’t need to satisfy that expectation anytime quickly. Barkley is qualified for an extension this offseason, however it’s hard to envision he’ll sign one off such a serious injury. The team has a fifth-year agreement alternative and a franchise tag at its disposal from there, so they’ll have time to be sure Barkley is the gamer they desire him to be prior to making a serious commitment.