Giants RB Saquon Barkley does, in fact, have a high ankle sprain after undergoing an MRI, head coach Pat Shurmur confirmed during a conference call on Tuesday.
SNY's Ralph Vacchiano was told by a source Sunday night that a high ankle sprain was the injury the Giants thought Barkley had.
The timeline for Barkley returning to the team is tricky. Though Shurmur didn't give one, Vacchiano is hearing from a source that it will be 6-8 weeks for Barkley before returning, but there is no knowing for sure because all sprains heal differently.
For instance, Barkley did note after the game that he suffered a high ankle sprain during his freshman year at Penn State, and returned just two weeks later.
Barkley's injury occurred towards the end of the second quarter, when he was brought down by Bucs S Mike Edwards and appeared to have turned his ankle on the tackle. He was in immediate pain, as he didn't get off the ground and crawled to the sideline with his head down on the turf. Barkley then walked with help to the locker room before eventually returning to the sidelines with a walking boot and crutches.
This is a big loss for the Giants, as they lose their most dynamic player on offense. Heading into the game on Sunday afternoon, Barkley was averaging 7.8 yards per carry this season. He had over 100 yards rushing in his first two games, but left the Raymond James Stadium field with only 10 yards on eight carries Sunday. He also had four catches for 27 yards.
Where do the Giants go from here? Well, the fantastic rookie debut by Daniel Jones is certainly a positive, especially with his mobility outside of the pocket. The Giants could take advantage of that to get some yards on the ground.
But it will be Wayne Gallman taking over Barkley's duty as the starting running back. Gallman is a solid backup option at the position, given his ability to pick up yards wherever the Giants need him. He got a lot of time in his rookie season back in 2017, when the Giants were trying to find an RB1. He had 476 yards on 111 rush attempts (4.3 yards per carry) over 13 games that year.