In the midst of his postgame mopiness on Sunday, the self-described slumping Saquon Barkley was asked about his somewhat diminished role in the offense.
"I’m not producing in the run game right now, so I can’t be upset that I’m getting 11 carries," he said of his opportunities against the Dolphins. "We’re not doing anything, and myself, I’m not doing anything in the run game. I’m not affecting the game in that aspect. So that kind of happens."
It may happen even more.
The Giants may realize they can be a more productive offense with Devontae Booker getting the majority of the touches rather than their struggling captain, face of the franchise and one time second overall draft pick. In the last two games Barkley has gotten the ball through handoff or pass 34 times and gained 127 yards (3.74 yards per touch). In the same span Booker has had the ball in his hands 14 times for 81 yards (5.79 yards per touch). Barkley has had two long runs in that sample size, but that only further diminishes the average on the rest of his chances.
Booker was the insurance running back signed in case Barkley was unable to play. He could be seeing more action with Barkley unable to play . . . well.
Judge noted the Giants have been using personnel groups with both backs on the field together, one of the more visible changes since the Giants fired offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. Barkley still gets the majority of the snaps by a wide margin though, including a 49-to-23 ratio on Sunday. That could start tilting more toward Booker, too.
"in terms of a pecking order at this point, that’s not what we’re thinking about," Judge said. "We’re thinking what do our players do well and how can we continue to give them opportunities to do that on the field … Anything that will present opportunities to make a play in space or get the ball and punch it vertically with the run we’ll go ahead and do."
Even if that means leaning heavily on the running back who isn’t Saquon Barkley.
Notes & quotes. G Wes Martin was placed on COVID/reserve after a positive test following the team’s arrival in Tucson on Monday. QBs coach Jerry Schuplinski also tested positive. As of Monday evening the Giants were confirming the initial test results and sorting through potential close contacts … Chargers WR Keenan Allen was placed on COVID/reserve as well and may miss Sunday’s game against the Giants.