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Saquon Barkley will fight through any ankle pain

Saquon Barkley of the Giants looks on against

Saquon Barkley of the Giants looks on against the Cardinals at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Saquon Barkley is back, but that doesn’t mean his high ankle sprain has gone away.

The Giants running back is still dealing with some soreness in his right ankle — particularly after he aggravated the injury in the second half of his return to action last Sunday against the Cardinals — but said it is nothing that will keep him from playing in upcoming games.

“There are going to be times when you feel a little bit of pain,” he said on Thursday. “But you also have to be a man where you are able to toughen up in that spot. And in those areas, I’m able to.”

As for practices, however, Barkley will be managed for a while. He was a full participant on Thursday but was limited on Wednesday.

“Coming back from the ankle, he may be a guy that we rest a little bit throughout the weeks to get him ready for the game,” Pat Shurmur said.

Barkley said he’d prefer to practice and play every snap, but he is “open-minded” about the midweek respites.

“Everyone needs it probably, to be honest,” Barkley said of the reins. “When you play an NFL season and we’re getting to that point, Week 8, where it’s a grind, everyone probably needs it. If it’s a case where they feel like I need it, I’ll do whatever it takes.”

Barkley said he probably was a little too excited early on in his first game back after missing a month and reverted to some of his college-type plays, trying to spin away from tackles and winding up with deep losses. As the game went on, he said, he felt more like the NFL version of himself.

He limped to the sideline for a few plays after being tackled in the third quarter but returned quickly. He said aggravating the injury did not scare him (though many Giants fans likely felt otherwise).

“The probability of him landing like that again on me is probably not that high,” Barkley said. “I was more upset that it happened again, but that’s football. That happens when you have a high ankle sprain.”

Barkley had a high ankle sprain as a freshman in college. He missed two games, but the impact lasted well beyond that timeframe. He expects the pain from this sprain to linger as well.

“It didn’t last the whole season in college,” Barkley said of his injury. “The more time you get to relax and treat it, the better it feels throughout the year. But it’s nothing I’m concerned about.”

Notes & quotes: Shurmur said it is “probably a strong possibility” that wide receiver Sterling Shepard (concussion) will miss Sunday’s game against the Lions. Shepard remains in the protocol after suffering his second concussion of the season in Week 5 against the Vikings. He sat out the last two games with the injury but has been practicing on a limited basis since last week. “It’s probably just an issue of time now,” Shurmur said . . . The Giants traded two defensive starters at the deadline last season. With this year’s deadline approaching next week, Shurmur said, “We’re always looking to upgrade the roster.”

New York Sports