Running Back Saquon Barkley
Q. Start with the obvious Saquon, there were reports that it was an ordinary ankle sprain and Taylor Rooks said that you told her it was a high ankle sprain. Is it a high ankle sprain?
A: Yeah, it's a high ankle sprain. I don't know where the ordinary came from but that's not something I'm mad about, people doing their job. But I sat down – I know Rooks really well. Me and (cornerback) Amani (Oruwariye) had dinner with her before the game. That's my good friend so we chopped it up and I told her what it was and that's how it went down.
Q. In regard to this week, there would be people who would say that you shouldn't play. That's kind of what (Chargers running back) Austin Ekeler is doing. You shouldn't play or a running shouldn't play without a contract beyond the year until he's 100 percent healthy. That is the smart thing to do business-wise. Does that impact your decision at all?
A: I'd agree. I think that is the smart thing to do business-wise. I wouldn't question anybody telling me that I should do that but at the end of the day, it's my life. I make the decisions, so I love this game and I feel like if it's good to play, go out there and play. So, I'm trying my best.
Q. When you clarified what your injury was, did you feel like you needed that out there because you wanted people to know what you were pushing through?
A: No. It was as simple as having dinner with a friend and she works for Amazon, and she was like "Are you okay if I say this?" It's like if I'm having a conversation with one of y'all. That's what it is. But it wasn't to push the narrative of "Oh, this is what I'm fighting through." I don't care enough for that to be honest. I'd rather it be like college. In college, you get hurt, you get banged up, nobody knows. But it's the rules in the National Football League, everybody's got to have an injury report every single day and know if you're limited in practice, if you're day to day, that's the rules. But, if it was up to me, I'd rather it be – it's football, you get banged up. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when. Just keep it like that and work through it. That'd be the way I'd like it though.
Q. If it's up to you, this decision, would you play Monday?
A: Yeah, I feel like it's my body, my choice. It sounds crazy saying that right there (laughs) but the reality of it is if I can go – If my body is telling me to go out there and play then yeah, that's what I'd like to do. But if anybody else is in the situation of, say if some people are in the situation of, they don't have a contract behind it and they're doing it for business reasons, I respect that, too. Probably is the smart thing to do, to be honest, but that's not in my makeup and how I view it.
Q: How about the most basic thing, how are you feeling? Where do you feel you are at?
A: It's tough, I mean it's one of those things that I think I am doing way better than what a lot of people would expect, especially talking to doctors, that I am further along, but it's frustrating because I am healing fast, but you want it to be faster. You want to heal fast, but it's tough balancing that. Just taking it day by day, just fighting. Every single day I come in and rehabbing and try to get myself back to a place where I can go out there and compete at a high level for my team.
Q: Does it mean something to you the fact that if you would get an opportunity to get out there and run around a little bit on Monday, to have a chance to show them that you can play, or show yourself you can play or do you kind of want to have an idea tomorrow or Monday morning?
A: It would mean a lot to me just to play in general. I love playing football. You don't want to miss games, I've missed enough games in my career, so I would love to just go out there and play anytime I can. That's why last week I was like aye, if it feels good enough and I can go out there and I can play and protect myself, protect the ball, and protect the QB, man let me try and play last Thursday. If I can do it this Monday, let me try and play. You never know with these things, it's a tough injury to battle through, but whenever that is, I just would love to be out there because I love the game of football and that's the only thing that matters.
Q: How much do the past injuries come into the equation for you, with the fact that you've had the ankle injuries before and you've kind of talked about it before, you didn't come back and probably play at the level you wanted, potentially even maybe came back early. How much do you factor that in the past experiences?
A: I was thinking about that. That is something that I might have said, but maybe with my left one, when I was dealing with the knee. We still come back in the left one, but my right one, the first one I did, my second year in the league, I came back earlier than what it said, I guess I was supposed to be out. The first game I came back, and I had a long run for like 40 however many yards, that got called back and that would have put me over 100 all-purpose yards and I think 100 yards rushing and I still finished the season with 1,400 yards that year. I don't think, that doesn't go through my mind, like 'oh I came back too soon'. Right now, it's just like, I want to get back. I'm itching and I'm eager to play. I don't like watching from the sidelines, I don't like watching on TV. I want to be out there and competing with my guys.
Q: How much do you recognize that this a team that needs a win?
A: I feel like every week you need to win. I think you can feel where the fans are, where the reporters are, like where the media is at. You know you can feel that. I don't want to say pressure, I don't want to say in a sense of urgency, but it is definitely better to start the first quarter of the season 2-2 than 1-3, so is it like a must-win? Every week is a must-win. On primetime, Monday Night Football, against a really good team that is playing really well. So, yeah it would be important to come out with a win, but I feel like every week is like that. You got to stress it, you got to feel like it's a must-win, but the same thing, like it's the NFL. We come out and we don't get the job done, then we are 1-3. You can't just be like 'Oh we got to set the building on fire, we're done' because there is still a long season to be played, but at the same time you got to realize it's important to go out there and win against NFC opponent and especially a really good team.
Q: Is it about pain tolerance more than anything else? Did they say you can't hurt it any worse?
A: I don't want to get too much into that. I don't think that's fair to myself or the docs. I won't get too much into that. I'll just leave it is whenever I'm able to go out there and be able to protect myself, protect the ball, and protect the quarterback, I'll be ready to go.
Q: Did you do team drills today?
A: I can't answer that question.
Q: What do you think your chances are of playing this week?
A: I don't know. I think I will have a better answer tomorrow and I'll have a better answer the day after that – I think that's Monday, right? We'll see.
Q: Has any part of your week this week been normal? Have you done normal things on the practice field we haven't seen? Have you felt normal this week at all?
A: I wouldn't say it's normal. My routine's the same, the time I come in and what I do in the weight room, in the training room. It's a little more rehab-focused with the ankle. But it's just kind of going out there and just testing it, seeing where I'm at, seeing how it feels, seeing how my body responds. That's really the big thing is going out there and running and putting your body weight on it and trying to move at a high level and competitive speed and then come out and go to sleep and see how you feel the next day. So, I would say that's why it's not normal, that part of it, but the process has remained the same and will always remain the same.
Q: How is your body feeling when you're trying to cut and stuff like that?
A: Have you ever had a high-ankle sprain before?
It's not easy, but I've dealt with it before. Luckily, it's the side I've done before, so I think when that happens your body can heal a little quicker and react to it because it's happened (inaudible). So, we'll see.
Q: Do you feel better than say, two days ago?
A: Yeah, every day, I would say. Every day. I think Dabs (Head Coach Brian Daboll) came out and said it, but that's a true statement. Every day it's getting better and better and trending up.