The Giants' fears were confirmed on Monday morning when they learned that Saquon Barkley will be out 6-8 weeks with a high ankle sprain. That is an enormous blow to their offense. Barkley is a weapon that simply can't be replaced.
But the Giants will have to try, because the only running back they have on their roster at the moment is Wayne Gallman, a fourth-round pick in the 2017 draft who is a solid pro, but nowhere near Barkley's class. Gallman will need help - more help than the Giants could get by running fullback Eli Penny more or promoting undrafted rookie John Hilliman off the practice squad.
They're going to have to bring in a veteran running back - and one who can really play.
Obviously there is no Saquon Barkley-like running back on the market. But there are a few options for the Giants to consider signing in the coming days:
C.J. Anderson - A former Pro Bowler with the Broncos (2014), Anderson is mostly a backup now, but he did an outstanding job filling in for the injured Todd Gurley in Los Angeles late last season. Starting the final two games of the season for the Super Bowl-bound Rams, he rushed for 167 yards and 132 yards. He's also only 28, so he's not done yet, even though the Detroit Lions cut him last week.
Jay Ajayi - He tore his ACL in Week 5 last year, but he's worth a look if he's healthy. Ajayi was always a tough runner and he's only 26, and had 873 yards in 14 games just two years ago when he was traded from Miami and helped the Eagles win a Super Bowl.
Doug Martin - At 30 years old, his days as a workhorse back are over, but he might have enough in him to split time with Gallman. He did have a shoulder injury with the Raiders this summer, so he'd need to be checked out by doctors, too.
LeGarrette Blount - He's 32 and looked very, very done in his time with the Detroit Lions last season. But he's still a 6-foot, 247-pound battering ram of a running back who could take the tough, short-yardage runs off Gallman's plate. His role would have to be limited, but he could be effective.
Orleans Darkwa - Consider him the sentimental favorite among Giants fans who remember him as a tough runner who was badly underused in the Ben McAdoo era. He's been trying to comeback from a torn Achilles for two years, and word is he's healthy and ready to go.
Spencer Ware - Maybe the best two-way running back available right now. The only problem is he underwent ankle surgery in early August. The Indianapolis Colts did release him last week so he could find another team, but it's unclear if he's healthy enough to go right now.
Jacquizz Rodgers - He's 29 and never quite became the player many were expecting, but he is still a very good two-way running back. His skills as a receiver (38 catches for 304 yards with the Bucs last year) could prove valuable. He's not much of a runner, but Gallman could handle that.