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Giants say they have no plans to shut down Saquon Barkley

Giants running back Saquon Barkley at MetLife Stadium

Giants running back Saquon Barkley at MetLife Stadium on Nov. 10, 2019. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Is it time to shut down Saquon Barkley?

“Absolutely not,” Pat Shurmur said of the idea that the Giants would put him on injured reserve with his ankle injury.

The second-year running back is coming off his worst game as a pro — in Sunday’s loss to the Jets, he gained one yard on 13 carries, which equates to about 2 3⁄4 inches per run — and needed X-rays after the game.

With Barkley such a big part of the Giants’ hopes moving forward beyond this season, it’s not outlandish to consider saving him for the future rather than risking him in the final six games of this schedule. The Giants, however, clearly are not contemplating that avenue.

“He’s feeling much better,” Shurmur said on Monday. “He’s fine . . . I saw him today and he said he’s feeling a lot better.”

Barkley has maintained that narrative since suffering a high ankle sprain in Week 3 against the Bucs, even when all evidence points otherwise. Since the injury, he has missed three games and played in four. In the games he played in, he has had one run over 13 yards and averaged 2.6 yards per carry. In the last two games combined, he has run for 29 yards on 27 carries. He also caught 11 passes for 97 yards.

Barkley will get to rest a bit before he plays next. The Giants have a bye and won’t face the Bears until Nov. 24. “It’s a week where it gives everyone a chance to get healthier, not only myself but the whole team,” he said. “We get to reflect on our season so far and try to be a better team than we were in the first half.”

Notes & quotes: WR Sterling Shepard remains in the concussion protocol, though Shurmur said he will continue to practice with the team.. Shepard has not played since suffering his second concussion of the season in Week 5 . . . T Nate Solder and CB Janoris Jenkins also are in the concussion protocol, and TE Rhett Ellison was added to the concussion protocol on Monday . . . The Giants waived OL Evan Brown, who had been called up from the practice squad on Saturday to help with depth . . . DB Corn Elder, who had been on the Giants’ practice squad, was signed by the Panthers to their active roster.

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