Running Back Saquon Barkley
Q: When you first rolled your ankle, what was your first thought?
A: When I first rolled my ankle, I kind of thought it was like just a little roll. It's happened before. I didn't expect it to swell up like that. Obviously, you guys probably all saw the TV copy or the picture that was out there. I didn't expect it to swell up that fast. Obviously, just frustrated. I knew that I had to sit out the rest of the game and I feel like I just started getting my stride back and started feeling good. But everything happens for a reason and a little setback and just got to go back to work.
Q: It looked like you didn't want to get on the cart for a while, was that just because you didn't want to believe that you had to?
A: Yeah. I didn't want to get on the cart because the last time I was on the cart I was out for the season. I didn't want to have that mentality, but as clear as you guys saw my ankle, it was kind of hard to walk on that even though I wanted to tough it out. Yeah, that was kind of just the mentality I had behind it.
Q: Was there any point where you thought it was worse than it is, like where you thought it was broken?
A: You never know. You never know until you get the X-rays and MRIs. Going into it, obviously you want to have a positive thinking, positive thoughts. But obviously just coming from a major knee injury then an ankle sprain from taking your eyes off and stepping on someone's foot, that is definitely frustrating. That was the mindset, just try to come in positive and thank God it wasn't worse than what it could've been.
Q: Where are you now?....
A: I'm taking it day by day. Just listening to the trainers, just going to attack the rehab process. Whenever I'll be able to get back out there on the field, I'll go out there and try to contribute.
Q: Obviously every situation is different, but in '19 you had the high ankle in Week 3, last year was the bad one obviously in Week 2 and then this one now. How maddening, frustrating is it that these things keep popping up early in the season and kind of impacting slash last year it wrecked your year?
A: Yeah, I'll be honest, it's frustrating. It doesn't make sense why it's happening, but obviously when you get hurt you have those one or two days when it's an ankle sprain. Obviously, when it's a knee injury, it's probably a little longer. You have those days to reflect and feel bad for yourself and have that 'why me?' mentality, but you can't keep that mindset. Having that mindset, you're not going to get anywhere with it. You've just got to look on the brighter side. Everything happens for a reason. This could slow me down to help me out in other ways to get myself ready and whenever I'm going to get back on the field, just get back to playing the sport that I love and to get back to contributing to help the team.
Q: Is it realistic for you to be back next week?
A: I don't plan to put any expectations on the day or the game that I'm going to come back. I'm just going to listen to my body, listen to the trainers and take it day by day. Whenever I'm able to get back out there, I'll be grateful again and take advantage of it.
Q: We've seen you play on a bad ankle before. Would you be any more cautious to try to heal it more this time just because you had just gotten back healthy with the other injury? Would you take a moment or time to make sure you're close to 100 percent rather than playing on a bad ankle?
A: I would never put myself out on a football field if I don't think that I can contribute, or I don't think that I can protect myself. No matter if this was an injury before the major injury or it was an injury after a major injury, that's going to be my mindset. I'm going to come in, I'm going to attack rehab, listen to the trainers, listen to my body and whenever I'm ready to go, I'm going to go.
Q: You said you think this might be able to help you in other ways. I've seen some medical people that say this will be good for you knee to get some rest at this point. Do you feel like your knee needed that?
A: That's a good question. I don't know. I wouldn't say my knee needed that because – I don't know. Before the Dallas game, you just know like when you're going to have a good game, I guess you can say, when you feel right, and I felt pretty good before the Dallas game. But yeah, this could be a blessing in disguise. It is going to be a blessing in disguise and I'm going to create it to be a blessing in disguise. From that medical standpoint that I guess you're saying, it slowed me down a little bit, but just a little bump and going to take advantage of just continuing to rehab my knee, get better throughout the season and continue to rehab this and when I'm able to go back out there, I'll be full go when I'm back.
Q: In the immediate aftermath of when you got hurt, I saw you sitting on the bench with your helmet off and kind of looking up, hitting your thighs in frustration, what was going through your mind?
A: Very observant. I don't mean to send like a you know what, but what would go through your guys' minds if you just rehabbed for 10 or 11 months to get back on the field and then you got hurt by rolling your ankle by stepping on someone else's foot? You're going to be frustrated. You're going to be exhausted. You're human. I'm human. So obviously, you have those thoughts and those negative thoughts creep in. But like I said, you have a day or two to reflect and have that 'why me?' mentality, but it's not going to get you anywhere. Looking back on it and the way that I reacted, or I acted on the sideline, I was kind of disappointed in myself. But like I said, I'm human and I feel, I care about this sport a lot. I care about this game a lot. I care about my teammates a lot. That's another reason why I'm frustrated that I feel like that I'm letting them down. Yeah, I guess just to sum it up, I was frustrated. I was angry at myself. Now, I'm just ready to go back to work and continue to get better.
Q: Obviously, you want to have long-term financial security in this league. Everyone knows most guys don't want to play on the fifth-year option and you have to show the team you can be durable. Obviously, I know they all want you to do that, so does this concern you that this is yet another thing where through no fault of your own, your body kind of is betraying you a little bit to the point where that might affect something down the road in terms of getting that long-term security?
A: I only control what I can control, and right now the only thing I can control is to find a way to get back on the field by taking care of my body and getting my body ready and getting my body healthy. All those other things are out of my control, so I can't even focus on that. To be completely honest, that's the last thing that's crossing my mind is financial security or contract talks or any other talks. My only focus is going home, rehabbing, still trying to be the best dad I can be, be the best brother, be the best friend I can be, and getting back on the football field and doing what I love and playing the sport that I love since I was a little kid.
Q: You said it twice that you were mad at yourself, why were you mad at yourself? Were you blaming yourself?
A: I mean, yeah, I guess so. I mean, who else can I be mad at in that situation?
Q: (Cowboys Cornerback) Jourdan Lewis.
A: No, I can't be mad at Jourdan Lewis. Actually, Jordan reached out to me and I guess some people were saying that it might have been intentional. I just happened to land on his ankle. If it was a second later or different, he could have landed on my foot and it could have been his ankle. People could have looked at me and made it seem like that I did it on purpose, so no. I've played Jourdan in college. I've played him since I've been in the NFL. He's not that type of guy. He's a heck of a player. So, me being mad at myself, that's the only thing that I could be right there – mad at myself, mad at the world, mad at everybody. You just got hurt again. You know you're going to be out. For how long, you don't know, so you're frustrated. That's what I meant by saying that.