New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley has been officially ruled out of Thursday’s road game against the New England Patriots as he continues to rehab his high ankle sprain.
The Giants will also be without tight end Evan Engram, the team’s leading receiver (373 yards), who is dealing with a sprained MCL.
Receiver Sterling Shepard, in the league’s concussion protocol for the second time this season, is also out, along with running back Wayne Gallman, Barkley’s top back-up who is missing for the same reason.
The injuries leave New York (2-3) short-handed against the league’s top-ranked defense, an undesirable scenario for rookie quarterback Daniel Jones’ first meeting with undefeated New England (5-0).
— New York Giants (@Giants) October 9, 2019
Barkley was able to return to practice last week but the team announced on Wednesday he will miss the Week 6 contest.
He was aiming to beat his initial four to eight-week timetable for recovery, but the Giants are taking a cautious approach in easing him back into action.
The 2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year injured his ankle in the second quarter of the team’s Week 3 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and missed the subsequent games against the Washington Redksins and Minnesota Vikings.
Despite missing the past two weeks entirely and most of the game in which he was injured, Barkley still leads the Giants in rushing with 237 yards.
Gallman is next with 107 and Jones will enter the Patriots game as the team’s active rushing leader with 78 yards, 25 more than projected starting running back Jon Hilliman.