Saquon Barkley busted a run into and beyond the secondary Thursday night, a welcomed early sight in an otherwise quiet night for the Giants’ rehabbed star running back.
Four days after a lackluster initial return from 2020 ACL surgery in the Giants’ season-opening loss to the Broncos, Barkley broke a 41-yard run down the right sideline in the first quarter of a 30-29 last-second road loss in Washington.
The No. 2 overall pick in 2018 otherwise didn’t greatly impact the Giants’ second straight defeat, finishing with 69 yards from scrimmage, including just 16 on a dozen carries aside from his breakout scamper.
“I was able to go out there and play a full game. My body and my knee responded well. Kind of knocked that rust off and was able to find one type of run to get open a little bit,” Barkley said. “It was an explosive run, I guess. But got to continue to trust it, trust the knee, trust the system. Hopefully, I’m going to continue to get better.”
Saquon Barkley had a season-long 41-yard run but the other seven of his first eight carries netted zero yards.AP
Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett conservatively called for Barkley to run the ball twice ahead of the Giants’ go-ahead field goal with 2:00 remaining, but he gained only 3 yards.
“I personally take that one on my shoulders right there,” Barkley said. “I know what type of player I am, and two runs to only get  yards. Got to find a way to get in the end zone there. … It’s important to get the running game going. As the leader and the running back, that’s on me. I’m gonna take that one, right there.”
Barkley had acknowledged this week that playing two games in a span of five days wasn’t an “ideal” scenario after he’d missed 11 months following knee surgery last September.
The former Penn State star totaled just 28 combined yards, including 27 on 10 attempts in Week 1, his first game action since suffering the right-knee injury in Chicago last September.
WR C.J. Board and TE Chris Myarick were promoted from the practice squad.
It was Board’s second of the three permitted game-day elevations, after he served as the kick returner and made a 6-yard catch in the opener.
The Giants went with only two healthy tight ends — Kyle Rudolph and Kaden Smith — in Week 1. After seeing Rudolph’s limitations as he recovers from foot surgery, the Giants called in reinforcements.
TE Evan Engram (calf) was the first player on the field Thursday — three hours before kickoff — trying to get back for Week 3 to fix the shortage.
Landon Collins, the former Giants captain, did not speak to the media during the shortened week.
Collins has not been shy about taking shots at the Giants during the two years since signing an $84 million contract with Washington, but he is 0-3 in those games and coming back from a season-ending torn Achilles.
— additional reporting by Ryan Dunleavy