The New York Giants have practiced disaster scenarios, but running back Saquon Barkley never actually believed he’d have to step in at quarterback. Until he did.
Following injuries to both Daniel Jones and Tyrod Taylor on Sunday, Barkley got the call. He had to line up under center and run the wildcat with no one available to throw the ball.
“Like you were eight years old playing with your friends on Sunday getting ready. You’re just drawing it up. ‘I’m the quarterback, this is what we are going to do, this is how we’re going to do it,'” Barkley told reporters after the game, detailing how head coach Brian Daboll was using the grease board.
“It’s something that we practiced. . . It was a package that we had in. You don’t want to be in that situation but the way that the coaches reacted, brought us all in and started drawing it up. It felt like you’re back again as a little kid in the backyard playing football.”
Although Barkley didn’t attempt a pass, Daboll would have allowed him to had the team needed it.
“Yeah. I think he could’ve,” Daboll said. “I was hoping he would get over 40 runs this game.”
To Barkley’s credit, he handled his duties flawlessly. Jones relayed the plays in the huddle and then Barkley carried them out. It was strange but functional.
“First of all, you have to give credit to DJ coming back in the game. I can’t curse, he’s a tough you know what,” Barkley said. “Nothing but respect for him to go in and continue to fight through that for his team just shows you the type of person and type of player he is.”
“It was a little bit different for us,” Jones added. “Like I said, we had to get creative with some of those calls. I thought the coaches did a great job scheming some of that stuff up and still giving us a chance to move the ball down the field.”
In the face of adversity, the Giants “didn’t flinch.” It’s a mentality and further proof that culture is shifting in East Rutherford.
“No, there was no flinch. I said ‘Well, if you’re going to put Saquon (in at QB), give it to him.’ I thought it was dope just seeing him back there and seeing the confidence in those guys knowing that they’re going to take over and nobody flinched. Everybody got behind them and we got together,” edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux said.