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Former Penn State star Saquon Barkley out for NFL season with torn ACL

Centre Daily Times logoCentre Daily Times 9/22/2020 By Parth Upadhyaya, Centre Daily Times (State College, Pa.)

Saquon Barkley will miss the rest of the 2020-21 NFL season.

The New York Giants announced Monday that an MRI of Barkley’s right knee confirmed that Barkley suffered a torn ACL in the Giants’ loss on Sunday against the Chicago Bears.

Barkley — a former Penn State star running back — ran four times for 28 yards before suffering the injury in the second quarter of Sunday’s contest. He first left the game late in the first quarter after landing on his left hand following an 18-yard run. Barkley returned after missing one play and then went down with the knee injury.

After a six-yard gain, Barkley’s knee appeared to give out after Bears safety Eddie Jackson attempted to wrap him up. Barkley immediately grabbed his right knee and punched the turf in frustration after being slammed to the sideline by Jackson. He needed to be carted off the field.

The 2018 Rookie of the Year and Pro Bowl selection totaled just 34 rushing yards on 19 rush attempts and 60 receiving yards on six catches this season through two games.

In his three years at Penn State, Barkley ran for 1,000-plus yards each season. He earned second-team All-Big Ten honors as a freshman in 2015 before being a first-team All-Big Ten selection in his final two years. Barkley finished his Nittany Lion career as Penn State’s all-time rushing touchdowns (43) record holder, while being second all-time with 3,843 career rushing yards.

After being selected No. 2 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, Barkley earned numerous accolades in his first year in the NFL, which he capped off with a Pro Bowl appearance. He battled through injuries in his 2019 campaign — most notably a high ankle sprain he suffered in Week Three — but still managed 1,003 rushing yards and eight total touchdowns.

Now, his third year in the league is over before he could really build any momentum. With Barkley sidelined for the rest of the season, the Giants offense will have to function without its most dynamic player.

“I wouldn’t fall asleep on (No.) 26,” Giants head coach Joe Judge said after Sunday’s loss. “It’s going to be a hell of a story either way.”

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©2020 the Centre Daily Times (State College, Pa.)

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