Running Back Saquon Barkley
Q: How were you feeling out there today?
A: Feel pretty good. Getting better every day. Just continue to get acclimated and take it one day at a time, listen to the training staff, listen to the coaches.
Q: What is your injury?
A: Something with my ankle.
Q: Is it like a low sprain? That's what was reported, that's why I'm asking.
A: I mean, I really don't want to get too much into that – whatever was reported – it is what it is. I'm just coming out every single day trying to get better and trying to get back.
Q: No setbacks with your knee, right?
Q: Did you have any setbacks with the foot during the rehab process?
Q: How much longer did it take than you expected originally? Originally, it seemed like even when you talked to us it didn't seem like you thought this would be a four-game type of thing.
A: Yeah, I didn't. I think everyone – when it first came out reported, I think at first no one thought that, but when the MRIs came back, obviously we knew it was going to be a little more difficult than we thought. I've just been keeping my head down and coming to work every single day.
Q: Was it a grade three sprain?
A: Really don't want to get too much into the details. Those questions are more for (Head) Coach (Joe) Judge or (Director of Rehabilitation/Physical Therapist) Leigh (Weiss) or (Senior Vice President of Medical Services/Head Athletic Trainer) Ronnie Barnes.
Q: Is this something that, similar to the high ankle sprain, that you're going to have to manage and play through the rest of the season?
A: I don't know. I guess I'll know whenever I'm able to get back out there. Right now, I'm just focused on practicing and leading and trying to get better and trying to get back for my team.
Q: Was that COVID test a setback, do you think you might have gotten back sooner if not for that?
A: I mean, that's kind of up in the air. Obviously, as a competitor, I would've loved to try and play last week, but missing practice for a day or two – I had to be home for a day or two – and not being at practice, definitely, I guess you could say, set me back from what I would've liked to accomplish. But no one knows and I can't predict that. I could've came out and practiced and not felt good and still not been able to play or could've came out of practice and felt good enough to go out there and play.
Q: You look pretty explosive out there now. Do you feel – I don't even know if 100 percent is even a thing midway through a season – do you feel like you usually feel the Friday before a game?
A: I would say just some soreness when you're rehabbing and when you're coming off of an injury, especially an injury where you had to be non-weight-bearing for a little bit. There definitely will be some soreness there, but that's part of football, that's part of the game that I love to play, and I just have to continue to listen to the trainers, listen to the coaches and trust my body.
Q: What has this last month been for you just psychologically working through this?
A: It sucks. As a competitor, you want to be out there. I just went a whole year, missed 14 games because of a knee and having to watch all the games on TV or being there. Then having to miss three or four games, however many games I just missed, obviously it sucks. Just missed the game and just hopeful that I get that opportunity this week. Just got to keep trusting it and keep building.
Q: Do you expect to be on a pitch count?
A: That's not a conversation that I had with Judge or any of the coaches, so I really have no expectations. I'm just trying to just get better and show them that I can be able to go out there and play and be able to protect myself and help the team.
Q: What did you do the week you had COVID? Were you able to work out on your own?
A: Fortunately, I have a gym in my house, so – actually, I didn't have COVID, so I want to clear that up. I actually didn't have COVID. But when I was false positive or however it went, I had a gym in my downstairs, so when I did have to quarantine a little bit I kind of just went down to my basement, stayed away from my family, and talked to (Director of Strength and Performance Craig Fitzgerald) Coach Fitz and got the workout sent to me. Went in my weight room and did it.
Q: That Friday after you got cleared from the false positive, you weren't on the practice field. Were you at home quarantining working out in that gym that day?
A: I forgot the makeup of it and how it went. I think I came in to test Tuesday – yeah, that Friday I don't think I would've been on the field, but I think I was able and allowed to come back into the building because of the rules because I'm vaccinated. I really don't remember, but I wasn't on the field that Friday. Or maybe I was by myself with Leigh and them. I'm not quite sure.
Q: As big of a competitor as you are, have you been able to find ways to kind of feed that competitive nature while you weren't on the field?
A: When I thought I had COVID, I played a lot of Madden, I guess that's some way. Playing board games with my family. There's nothing that's going to feed it like playing football. It's not just a competitive side, it's just the love of the game and just how passionate I am about it. Like I said, every single day so far this week, just trying to come back and just get better and show the coaches that I'm able to go out there and protect myself and be able to help the team.
Q: Do you call like 75 handoffs in a row when you're playing Madden?
A: No, I made like a franchise mode and make the team suck and get rid of all the star players and get my own draft pick.
Q: You rebuild.
A: Yeah, I just do like a whole big rebuild.
Q: Do you trade yourself?
A: No, I don't play with Giants because it's too close to home. Say if I'm playing a game and if I fumble the ball, I've got to take myself out of the game. It's too weird for me, so I stay away from the Giants.
Q: Did you practice fully today or were you limited?
A: What did it say? Did it come out?
Q: They didn't say it, so that's why I'm asking you to get a jump on whatever the injury report is.
A: I guess we'll wait until it comes out, right?
Q: How much extra rehab do you have to do right now on this still with the ankle? Like after practices.
A: Both. You've got to rehab the ankle, you've got to rehab the knee, and you've got to rehab your body. I know I've been banged up and hurt the last two years, but I hire a lot of people. I do a lot of extra work on my body. That's why some of the injuries, I guess you could say, don't make sense, but you've got to continue to stay on your body. No different if I didn't have an ankle injury or if I didn't have a knee injury the year before, Week whatever we are in the NFL, it's a grind and tear on your body, so you've got to take care of your body no matter what. The extra stuff that you've got to do to your body is needed no matter what, if it wasn't for injury or just want to continue to go out there and be healthy.
Q: Did you get a second opinion on your ankle? Like did you have to go to LA or something?
A: No, I didn't have to go to LA, but my agent got a hold of the MRIs and it's always smart to get a second opinion. Obviously, I trust everyone here from (Hospital for Special Surgery) HSS, (Head Team Physician/Orthopedics) Dr. (Scott) Rodeo to Leigh, all their opinions. Like I said, I also don't want to go too deep into that.
Q: You're a pretty business-oriented person. When all these injuries happen, how do you avoid thinking that it's costing you money? Look, I understand there's nothing you can do, you stepped on a guy's foot, but the reality is the more time you miss the more the perception is, 'Hey, he's injury-prone.' You know the situation. How do you not think about that?
A: You live life, you know what I mean? I can't control that. A lot of people say, 'control what you can control' and that's what I live by. I spend time with my family, live life, smile, work my butt off. I'm a big believer in no matter what, the things that you want to accomplish, you've got to visualize it, you've got to work for it. All the things I want to obtain are still out there for me to obtain. That's how I've got to live by it. There are going to be setbacks. There's going to be adversity – not just as a football player, but in anything you do in life. Just because you have a little adversity, little setbacks, doesn't mean you've got to start listening to all the noise. You've got to ignore the noise, put your head down and keep working and have faith and have belief that all the hard work that you put in is going to come to light.
Q: Have you thought about it though? Is it something you have been completely able to avoid, or has it crossed your mind and then you're able to get over it? I know you mentioned last time it's like a cycle, right? The first initial reaction is disappointment and then you have to kind of get over it like a day or two or whatever.
A: No, the only thought process is getting back, getting back with my team, getting back playing the sport that I love. Obviously, right when I felt like I started getting back, obviously, I got injured. But we've got, what, eight, nine games left in the regular season? Everything we want to accomplish is still out there and just try to get back as healthy as I can to go out there and try to make a run at this thing in the second half of the season.
Q: You mentioned that for you personally everything you want to obtain is still obtainable here, so whenever you do come back for the latter half of the season, what are your expectations for yourself?
A: I've got a 'C' on my chest for a reason, be a leader. I still believe I'm capable of the things that I've shown on the field before, so when I'm able to make those plays, when those plays come to me, make those plays and don't force anything and take it one day at a time. That's really the only thing I can do. Those are my expectations. Take it one day at a time, be a leader that I am, and be the playmaker that I know I can be and know that I will be.