RB Saquon Barkley -- October 17, 2019
Q: So how do you feel?
A: I feel pretty good. Taking it day by day. This week of practice, obviously you guys all know that Iíve been fully participating and Iím feeling good, but still taking it day by day. Just hopefully trying to get out there for my teammates.
Q: If you feel the same as you do today, do you think you will play on Sunday?
A: Iím just going to continue to take it day by day and trust my teammates, trust the process, trust the trainers, and like I said, continue to take it day by day.
Q: Physically, what is the biggest difference from where you were last week to where you are right now?
A: The biggest difference from where I was last week to where I am right now, Iím practicing. With this injury, obviously day by day and week by week, you continue to get better and better, but you really canít tell because last week I was taking reps individually and I was running routes, but itís different when you actually have to react and make cuts going against the scout team and going against the defense. So, thatís the biggest difference, Iím actually practicing this week and I get to actually feel making those cuts and preparing myself for the game.
Q: Do you feel anything in the ankle when youíre out there making those cuts?
A: No. One, a lot of it is youíre so focused on just making the play and doing the right thing on your play and not messing up and knowing your responsibility, and youíre focusing on that. So, I guess the answer would be no.
Q: What have your days been like the past couple weeks? Whatís the process been like?
A: The process has been the same. Obviously, I get to be on the field now, but you still have to come in early in the morning, get some treatment. Thatís something that I think is very important, Iíve got to keep on that, even though I continue to feel better and better. Even when I feel like the best I could feel, I guess you could say, Iím still not going to go away from that because I think thatís important to help me throughout the season. Just as an athlete, it helps you out, too. Whether itís not even just working your ankle, whether itís working on your body in general as a whole, to prepare yourself for the rest of the season. So, thatís been kind of similar, what Iíve been doing the last two weeks or three weeks when the injury happened, Iíve come in here, tried to attack rehab, attack the training room and the weight room, and now be able to get back on the practice field.
Q: Do you feel refreshed?
A: Thatís a good question. I donít know if I feel fresh because I feel like a little kid again and actually get to go out there and play football. I would say maybe that has something to do with it, but I guess you could say so.
Q: Any doubt in your mind that you can handle playing a full game health-wise with the ankle?
A: No. No doubt in my mind. I know that, obviously, even if I want to be out there as much as I can, itís ultimately really not up to me. Itís going to be up to the team doctors and the trainers and coaches. I know that I feel confident enough that whatever they need my role, my responsibility, to be, Iím going to be able to do it for the team.
Q: So youíre just waiting for final approval from the medical staff?
A: Iím just taking it day by day.
Q: How badly do you want to be out there on Sunday?
A: Really bad. Thatís every Sunday, every Thursday, any time we get a chance to play the game. Even when Iím done playing this game one day, Iím always going to want to be out there because you love this game and this is a game that I grew up watching and grew up wanting to do, and I get to wake up every single morning and live my dream. So, obviously itís very fun coming in here and getting in a lot of hard work in the weight room and in practice and in film, but I think the most fun is going out there and competing with your brothers, so thatís what Iím most excited to be able to do.
Q: Whatís it like having to sit at home and watch the game?
A: It sucks, to be honest. Itís weird because youíre watching the game and you want to be out there, and I guess you could say thatís why it sucks, too, but youíre still supportive of your teammates. Even though you canít be there with them physically, just the same way I was on the sideline or I watched the game with Evan (Engram) and Shep (Sterling Shepard) and all those guys, the same way we were on the sideline is the same way we were in the house. I know we all were itching to get back and to be there for our teammates.
Q: Youíve had a chance to watch Daniel (Jones) a whole bunch now. How do you think you can help him be a better quarterback with what you bring to the table?
A: I think the way I help him is just to come in and do what I do and be me. I think thereís a reason why the Giants drafted me here. I think that in one year Iíve gained a lot of attention and respect from not just the media, but from other players and coaches in the league. So, I think youíve got to account for another person when Iím playing. I think thatís what I bring to the game and I think thatís a way I can help not only Daniel, but help the team. But also Iíve got to keep the team mindset, keep focused on whatever I need to be doing, and just help the team win with whatever Iím going to do.
Q: The running game has scuffled the past couple weeks. If youíre in there, are there things that youíve noticed by watching on the sideline that you think you can help with besides your pure talent?
A: I think thatís a really good question. I think that, I guess statistically we went down, but I give a lot of credit to (Jon) Hilliman, EP (Eli Penny), Wayne (Gallman Jr.), and all those guys. I think they did a tremendous job of doing what they needed to do and making the plays when they needed to be. But the way that I think that I can help, the best way I can answer that, is just go out there and be me. Go out there playing with the God-given ability that I have and go out there playing with the mentality of competing every single time you touch the rock, and doing it for your teammates, and trying to have a successful game individually just because you want your team to win. I think the best way would be just go out there and be me. I donít think thereís anything--Iím not going to bash our running backs, I donít think it was like, ĎOh, they played awful,í nothing like that. Yes, I guess statistically it went down, but that happens. Itís a long season, itís a grind, the season, and not every week is going to be a 200-yard performance.
Q: Evan (Engram) said youíve been climbing the walls lately to get back on the field, and then when you do get back itís going to be ďangry Saquon.Ē Do you agree with that?
A: Yeah, I guess you could say Ďangry Saquon,í but itís going to be more just appreciation because when you actually get the game taken away from you--and donít get me wrong, I know itís not a season-ending injury, itís an injury that took me out for a couple weeks--but when youíre passionate about this game and when you have to step away from it and watch your teammates go out there and youíve got to be in a box looking down and canít really do much for your team, it makes you understand how much you actually care and appreciate this game. So, itís going to be more of a person who just is appreciating the game and is trying to go out there and do whatever it takes for the team to win.
Q: What do you think when you hear people talk about you being a ďsuper humanĒ healer?
A: A Ďsuper humaní healeróI donít know, I guess Iíve been doing a really good job of taking care of my body, I give a lot of credit to my PT and the trainers in here, and theyíve been doing a really good job with me of directing me to the right direction to heal faster and for me to be able to come back at a faster rate. So, I know people call me a Ďsuper healerí or whatever, but itís a lot of hard work, and a lot of the people surrounding me for me to be able to heal as fast as I did.
Q: Do you think you are a fast healer?
A: I think everythingís different. I think everyoneís body reacts to different injuries. I might have healed a lot quicker from this type of injury and may not from another one, or vice-versa for everybody else, but I think a lot of it also is the mindset. I think when the injury happened, yes, I was down, but when I got off that plane and I got home and went to sleep, and when I woke up and came here the next morning, I wasnít going to come in with my head down like Iím going to be out for this longómy mindset was just how can I get back as fast as I can for my teammates. I think when you have that mindset, that attitude, I think that goes a long way, too.
Q: I think ďcyborgĒ was the word that was being thrown around?
A: Cyborg, Iíve heard it all. Iíve heard it all on social media and in the media, so whatever cyborg, I told (Taylor) Rooks I went to Wakanda, itís a little fun, but Iím just happy to be able to go out there again and be on the practice field, first and foremost, and be able to practice with my teammates.
Q: So youíre guaranteeing that youíll play on Sunday?
A: (Laughter) No, Iím just taking it day by day, and I guess weíll see.