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Saquon Barkley's biggest takeaway from Giants' second preseason game: Meeting Barry Sanders

Rookie running back doesn't play but does get advice from one of his childhood idols and NFL's all-time greats. 

Giants running back Saquon Barkley, left, meets with

Giants running back Saquon Barkley, left, meets with former Lions running back Barry Sanders before a preseason game Friday in Detroit. Photo Credit: AP/Paul Sancya

DETROIT — Saquon Barkley did not practice or play during his week in Detroit because of his hamstring injury, but he did manage to check one thing off his NFL bucket list during the trip.

The Giants’ first-round pick was introduced to Hall of Famer Barry Sanders before Friday night’s game against the Lions. Sanders was at Ford Field to meet select fans and the two running backs were brought together for a quick chat and some photos.

“It was awesome,” Barkley told Newsday of the encounter. “It was an honor and a blessing. He’s definitely up there with the likes of Jim Brown and the all-time greats.”

Sanders shared a few tips with Barkley about taking care of his body and working on track speed. “That definitely helps you out,” Barkley said of Sanders’ advice.

Barkley is such a fan that when he was growing up he had a Barry Sanders action figure that he kept pristine in its packaging. In fact, he still has it at home.

Unfortunately.

“I wish I brought it, I could have had him sign it,” Barkley said, his eyes still a little star-struck from the encounter. “I didn’t think about that coming on this trip. I had other things on my mind.”

New York Sports