RB Saquon Barkley -- October 3, 2019
Q: What are you thinking about this weekend?
A: I think the Vikings are a great team, definitely on the defensive side of the ball. They are coming off a loss, so theyíre definitely looking for a win. We have to go out there and do what we can to get another win.
Q: Physically, how are you feeling? Youíve been out there, we saw you running, cutting, jumping, howís the ankle holding up?
A: It just feels good to be out there with my teammates. I think weíve been having a great week of practice, we just have to continue to get better. Weíve got one more day to attack it on the field to prepare ourselves the best for the Vikings.
Q: 11 days after you got hurtó are you feeling better, worse, the same, are you encouraged?
A: My mindset is not going to change. From the day I got hurt, I wasnít going to allow myself to take a negative approach to it. Iím a big believer with healing, a lot of it is mental, also. (Iím) just trusting the trainers, and I think theyíve been doing a great job. Not only my trainers here, but my physical therapist, outside of football, is doing a great job with me, too. Iím just trying to do whatever I can to help my team win games. Just trying to get as ready as I can.
Q: What was the timeframe you were given at first?
A: I donít know. I never really was given a timeframe. It was kind of, I guess, 6-8 weeks. But I think everybody is different, but everybody has different opinions.
Q: How close do you think you are?
A: Like I said, Iím just happy to be back out there with my teammates. Go out there and just go get back on the field. Like I said, one more day, Friday, to get on the field to get ready for the Vikings.
Q: Youíre a competitor and you want to be out there. How do you balance being patient with your injury and letting yourself heal properly versus getting out there as quickly as possible?
A: Yeah, Iím a competitor and definitely want to be out there for my team. But when you say team, itís not just only in this building or on the football field. I have to trust my team in there, I think we have some of the best, if not the best, training staff starting with (Senior Vice President of Medical Services) Ronnie Barnes all of the way down. Iíll just continue to listen to them, have faith in them, and continue to do what I can to help my team win games whenever Iím able to come back.
Q: Are you surprised with how quickly youíve been able to get back on the field? You were on crutches in Tampa, obviously going through a lot of pain, and youíve been through this injury before. Does it surprise you with how quickly youíve been able to do this much?
A: I donít know, is it surprising to you all? For me personally, like I said, I feel like a lot of it is mental and how you approach it. I told you guys that the same way I attack the field (and) the same way I attack the weight room, Iím going to attack the training room and attack recovering and rehab. I think Iíve been doing that.
Q: Do you just have a high tolerance for pain or are you actually healing quicker than normal?
A: I think you posted a video and it said, ďwow,Ē or ďhowĒ when I made a cut. I think if youíre able to make a cut like that, I donít think thatís pain.
Q: Do you follow me?
A: Do I? I donít know. I think you tagged me in itó or someone sent it to me.
Q: When you went to Wisconsin for the second opinion, was that looking for better news? Was that to give you something to get back quicker? Obviously, you are entitled to get a second opinion, but what were you hoping to hear there?
A: I was hoping to hear what they believed I shouldíve done. I think those are two great doctors with Dr. Anderson and Dr. OíMalleyótwo of the best at what they do. So, why not if you have the opportunity. If itís with job advice or business advice, if you can go to two of the best people in the world, why not go to both of them and get their advice. You kind of take it in, take it for what it was, incorporate it how you want to incorporate it, and make your own decision.
Q: The advice was the same? They were both pretty much in concert with whatís going on with you now?
A: I wouldnít say the advice was the same, but one saw me a little bit earlier than the other. I think he probably got to see two different types of ankles at that point.
Q: Did you do basically the same today as you did yesterday working on the side with the trainers? Did you amp it up a little bit?
A: I got to do a little bit more. It felt good. I got to open up and run full speed and cut a little bit more. Like I said, just focused on the Vikings and focusing on tomorrow and attacking tomorrow. Itís the last day on the field we technically have to prepare for a very great team and try to find a way to get three in a row. We have a good thing going and we have to continue to keep it going.
Q: Do you feel like youíd need to be in that practice on Friday in order to play on Sunday? Or could you just rehab up until gameday and give it a shot?
A: I feel like I need to do whatever helps the team win. Whatever they would like me to do. Like I said, I know how I personally feel. I love having the team mindset that I have on the field, but itís not just on the field football, itís off the field, too. Like I keep saying, we have a great team, and a great staff, and Iím going to continue to trust them and I know they are going to put me in the right position.
Q: How similar is this to the Penn State ankle injury you had?
A: Both high ankle sprains.
Q: What if the team doctor said they think itís best to sit out this game and then look at Thursday. Are you going to fight that, or will you accept what they recommend?
A: I wouldnít say Iím going to fight it. I keep saying, we have a great team on the field and great coaches on the field, and we have a great team off the field. I trust their decision. Theyíve been doing a great job for me with rehab, just being honest and just being open with me. Whatever they would like me to do, Iím willing to do. Iím always a competitor and Iím always going to do whatever it takes to help my team win. If they feel like thatís not this Sunday, then itís not this Sunday.
Q: If you go on the field when youíre not yourself, is there a concern that you might be able to play, but you could do damage and then you could really set yourself back?
A: Whatís damaging? I think thatís a question thatís going to come up whenever you guys see me when Iím on the field. Because everyone said I was supposed to be out 6-8 weeks, and now Iím back quicker. The question is going to be, is it a concern. I mean, a lot of itís football. I think if you go back and look at my injury, I donít care how strong of an ankle I have, how much I lift, how much I run, how much I condition, I just got hit in a bad spot and thatís why I had a sprain. That happens, thatís part of the nature of football. If Iím worried about that, I should give up football. I donít plan on giving up football anytime soon. To be honest, the way that I train and the way that I operate, it probably shouldíve been way worse than what it actually was. (There are) not any concerns of going back out there and re-injuring that. I think when you have that mindset, thatís how you get injured again. So, for me, just go out there and do whatever it takes to help my team win. Try to be vocal on the sidelines, whether Iím on or off the field, in practice, in meetings, helping (Jon) Hilliman, helping Wayne (Gallman) and all of the guys, doing whatever it takes.