The New York Giants are expected to see the return of running back Saquon Barkley (ACL) this season, but when exactly that will come is anyone’s guess.
Barkley will start training camp on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list and his availability for a Week 1 game against the Denver Broncos is very much in question.
With the potential for Barkley to be limited early on this season always present, the Giants went out and signed Devontae Booker in free agency. He will be the team’s primary backup and first in line to start if Barkley were forced to sit.
But even with the presence of Booker, ESPN is not exactly high on the Giants’ backup running back situation, ranking them (and Booker) 16th overall in the NFL.
16. Devontae Booker, New York Giants – Flex if Saquon Barkley is out
Booker signed with the Giants after flashing behind Josh Jacobs in Las Vegas last season. Booker would step into a sizable role in place of an injured Barkley, with sixth-round rookie Gary Brightwell and Corey Clement making for underwhelming competition.
The Giants do also have Sandro Platzgummer and Mike Weber on their roster, but those two are not likely to inspire much more confidence in the unit as a whole.
There’s little doubt the Giants have a lot riding on the return of Barkley, but if things hit a snag, Booker will be thrust into the lead role and needed to take the vast majority of offensive snaps.