RB Saquon Barkley -- October 8, 2019
Q: How are you feeling in general?
A: I feel good, just taking it day by day, continuing to get better every single day. Iím trying to do whatever I can to prepare myself the most I can to help my team compete at a high level on a short week on Thursday.
Q: How much more were you able to do in practice this week compared to last week, is there a difference in terms of how ready you feel?
A: I was able to continue doing the same thing; running, cutting, I think thatís the biggest focal point. Being able to run and cut and I have been able to do that, I think that every single day I continue to feel better and that just happens with this type of injury. As times goes on, you continue to feel better. Like I said, just continue to take it one day at a time to try to prepare myself the best I can.
Q: What do you think about Thursday night?
A: I think Thursday we are going against a really good team. Obviously, everyone knows about the Patriots and Belichick and Brady, they have the number one defense over there. Theyíre allowing 240 something yards a game, we definitely have to bring our ďAĒ game, especially on a short week. We have to continue to go out there and take advantage of the plays that they give us and do what we can to come out with a W.
Q: Do you think you will be on the field or on the sidelines?
A: Thatís my mindset, continue to go out there for my team, play at a high level for my team, thatís the way I have been approaching this thing. Just approaching every week and attacking film, attacking rehab, and just try to do whatever I can to help my team win.
Q: Do you feel 100 percent?
A: 100 percent. What is 100 percent? I have been asked that question a lot.
Q: Do you feel good enough to play?
A: I think anyone is going to say they feel good enough to play. Everyone keeps asking me if I am 100 percent. Not to be rude, but itís Week 5. No one is going to be 100 percent, thatís the NFL. Thatís what happens in the sport that you play, the sport that I love. For me, my mindset is every single day, continue to get better, continue taking those reps. Try to help Eli (Penny), try to help Hilliman, Austin (Walter) and all those guys out. So when the opportunity comes for them they can be able to execute at a high level. Thatís my main focus, trying to do whatever I can to help my team win.
Q: Is this harder than you thought, trying to play it smart and understanding how the team has to approach this?
A: No, itís not hard at all because when it happened, I had my mind made up that I am going to come back as fast as I can and Iím going to be 10 times better. Also, I had the mindset that I am going to be open-minded. Iím not coming in here struggling, Iím not coming in here with my head down. Iím going to do whatever it takes in rehab to continue to get better and, also, Iím going to listen to my team. Like I said last week, I canít just preach team, team, team on the field. Also have to preach it off the field. We have a great training staff, starting with Ronnie Barnes and also Ryan, my trainer and my PT (Physical Therapist) outside of football. (They) have done a really good job for me. Itís not hard at all.
Q: Did you guys already make a decision on Thursday? Or do you have a doctorís appointment, say tomorrow, to make that decision?
A: No, my focus is just going out there tomorrow, we treat it like a Saturday since Thursday is technically Sunday. My decision is to come here, come here early, get my treatment, get my rehab, then go out to practice. Obviously, itís going to be a lot slower than what we were doing the last two days, but Iíll come out to practice and get ready for the Patriots.
Q: Do you expect to get on the bus?
A: Thatís the goal, thatís the mindset that I have. Thatís how Iím attacking it every single day, every single week. Getting ready for the Patriots and doing what I can to help my team win.
Q: Just to be clear, there has been no decision yet? You donít know yet whether youíre playing Thursday night?
A: I do not know if Iím playing Thursday night. There is no decision yet. I know you guys asked Coach (Shurmur), I know there are reports out there that Iím not going to play. It didnít come from my mouth and it didnít come from Coach Shurmurís mouth, so I donít know how that story happened.
Q: How much do you want to be out there since itís primetime and itís the Patriots?
A: Itís not just the primetime Patriots. We could be playing Whitehall High School, I just love playing football, I just love playing this sport. I love being out there with my brothers, I love going and lining up with EP (Eli Penny), with Daniel (Jones), all those guys, Sterling (Shepard), and so on. Obviously, you get paid to play this game, and I think itís a blessing. But take that away, I get to come out and live out the dream that I had since I was a little kid. For me, thatís the biggest thing. Thatís why I want to be out there. Just go out there and play the game that I love and go out there and compete with my teammates.
Q: Do you understand the idea, because you are so far ahead of the timetable, whatever timetable, that they want to be safe? They want you back and then to be back for the rest of the season, where they would hold you out Thursday with an eye on 10 days later, and then youíre essentially good to go. Would you understand that thinking if thatís what the training staff wanted to do?
A: Yes, because thatís the mindset, thatís the thing that they want with the team, I guess, that would be the mindset that they came in with, and the decision that they came up with. Like I said, I have to continue to be openminded. Thatís one of the biggest things I wanted to do, is not come in here and be closed minded and be ignorant to the fact of the situation. Just trust the team, trust the process, trust myself, and trust God and everything. If thatís the decision that they make, I am going to be all for it. Iím going to be there no matter what, or however it is, Iím going to be supporting my team.
Q: What did you think of your fullback carrying the ball?
A: EP (Eli Penny), yeah, he was going. He was doing really well, he was doing his thing. Iím excited to see him. Thatís the stuff that you love that goes unnoticed. They may not get all of the love and the shine, or all of the credit, but for him to go in there and get back to his running back days, he was a running back back in the day. He loves to tell us that and loves for us to know that. But I think he did a really good job not just only in running back, as fullback. The last few years heís been definitely beneficial to me, and has helped me out a lot to grow, not only into the person but into the player I am.