Giants star RB Saquon Barkley out for rest of season with torn ACL

Art Stapleton

Giants wide receiver Golden Tate spoke to the crushing reality of the situation involving Saquon Barkley's injured right knee with the most direct of responses.

"The show must go on," Tate said Monday, matter of factly to reflect the mindset pressed upon all those who make their living in the NFL.

Yet the entertainment value of that production, or that of the Giants, won't be the same.

The Giants' worst fears were confirmed Monday morning when tests revealed Barkley has a torn ACL and is out for the season.

The Giants' star running back was injured on the first play of the second quarter in Sunday's 17-13 loss to the Bears in Chicago. Barkley is expected to undergo surgery to repair the injury within the next month once the swelling subsides.

Barkley, 23, had topped 1,000 yards rushing in his first two seasons. He is widely considered among the best at his position in the NFL and one of the most popular players in the league.

The Giants selected Barkley No. 2 overall in the 2018 NFL draft.

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) is attended to by medical staff after being injured against the Chicago Bears during the first half of an NFL football game in Chicago, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020.

Replacing Barkley will not be easy. In addition to having Dion Lewis and Wayne Gallman on the roster, plus veteran Rod Smith on the practice squad, the Giants had former Atlanta Falcons star Devonta Freeman in for a visit that began Monday.

There will be questions regarding Barkley's ability to recover and regain his rare physical ability, and the prospects of what his Giants' future looks like, not to mention the size and merit of a second contract will be debated.

Before Sunday, Barkley and the Giants were seemingly on the same page headed for a potential lucrative extension this offseason that would rival that secured by Carolina's Christian McCaffrey (4 years, $64 million).

That timetable is undoubtedly altered at the moment, and there is uncertainty what the next step would be.

"It's going to take all of us," Lewis said Sunday. "We got Wayne, myself, we all gotta step up. Obviously, you know, Saquon is one of the best running backs in this league, so nobody's going to be able to do what he does, what he's done. We gotta do what we can do, be ourselves and do whatever the coaches ask us to do and work hard every day."