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Saquon Barkley returns to practice for Week 6

Giants running back Saquon Barkley is pushing to get back in less than three weeks from a high ankle sprain. It would not be the first time. We break down the fantasy implications.

Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants warms up prior to the game at Raymond James Stadium on September 22, 2019 in Tampa, Florida. Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The New York Giants are not looking to rush running back Saquon Barkley into action with his high ankle sprain, but the stud back thinks he can get on the field sooner rather than later. On Tuesday before practice, he told Giants reporter Ralph Vacchiano he is maintaining a mindset to get back by Thursday.

Barkley was back at practice on Tuesday, listed as a limited participant. It marked his first official practice since suffering the injury in the second quarter of Week 3 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was listed as limited on the Giants Monday practice participation report, but that was estimated since the team did not actually practice.

If Barkley got back for the team’s Week 6 game against the Patriots, it would not be the first time he has shattered expectations for this kind of injury, per His freshman year of college at Penn State, he suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 4 against San Diego State. He missed the next two games against Army and Indiana, and then returned to face Ohio State. The Nittany Lions came up short, but Barkley finished the game with 194 rushing yards.

Fantasy football analysis, New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley

The Giants have one more practice session on Wednesday, at which point we’ll hear the final injury report. I suspect Barkley will be listed as questionable and declared a game-time decision. The upside for fantasy football owners is we’ll know at the start of the week what to expect of Barkley.

I would be a little surprised if Barkley plays, but given how limited the team is elsewhere on offense, they might just need the body available if he thinks his ankle is ready. If he does play, you pretty much have to start him if he’s on your roster.