For the first time in his early career, Giants star RB Saquon Barkley will be missing a regular season game on Sunday when the Redskins come to town. And he's expected to miss a few more as well with his high ankle sprain.
Head coach Pat Shurmur addressed Barkley getting a second opinion on his injury from foot/ankle specialist Dr. Robert Anderson in Green Bay, which SNY's Ralph Vacchiano confirmed.
"That's typical of what you see these days," Shurmur said. "More often, guys get second opinions. They're just not as public as this one is."
Shurmur said, "I don't really have anything to add" when asked if surgery was an option for Barkley. Instead, he was willing to discuss where the Giants go from here.
Wayne Gallman, who the Giants drafted out of Clemson in the fourth round back in 2017, will be the team's starter going forward.
"We just keep going. We put Wayne Gallman in there and then we get ready to go," Shurmur said. "Get the offense ready to play. That's the reality in this league. It's not cliché, it's not coach-speak. It really is next man up."
Gallman may have taken a backup role to Barkley last season, but during Gallman's rookie year, he saw his fair share of touches with the Giants running a committee backfield. He had 476 yards on 111 rushes (4.3 yards per carry). He also hauled in 34 of his 48 targets for 193 yards and a touchdown.
"I view it as a big opportunity," he said. "It's unfortunate for my brother to go out, but this is what I prepared for. This is what I have been preparing for so I'm ready for it."
Shurmur did mention during his conference call on Monday that the team would be looking in the market for a potential backup running back, and the team did work out a few veterans on Tuesday. But none of them left with a contract, which bodes well for practice squader Jon Hilliman who has been getting some good work in practice this week.
The focus, though, will be on Gallman hopefully getting some good yardage on the ground as well as getting involved in the pass game -- something Barkley obviously thrives in as well. Shurmur knows that Gallman can do everything a complete back should be able to do, which includes blocking for QB Daniel Jones.
"He's kind of a twitchy guy and he does a good job getting it up in the hole. I think he's got good collision balance," Shurmur said of Gallman. "He's improved catching the football and he's pretty good with our pass protection. So he's a good all-around player and he's going to be asked to do more."
It's an obvious loss to the Giants offense to not have No. 26 in the backfield, as defenses had to keep their eyes on him at all times. However, the Giants don't seem to be worried about it. Sterling Shepard showed his love for Gallman after Wednesday's practice as well.
"I have confidence in Wayne," he said. "He's been toting the ball pretty good for us lately and I don't see [the run game] going anywhere [bad]."
Comparing Barkley to Gallman wouldn't be fair, but the 25-year-old Gallman is definitely ready to get some more touches this week to show everyone that the run game won't be taking that big of a hit.
"No, I don't worry about all that," he said. "I'm me and y'all gonna see that."