Thu Dec 3 12:05pm ET
By TOM CANAVAN
AP Sports Writer
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Saquon Barkley has no doubt he will get back on the field and play for the New York Giants once he's finished rehabilitating the torn ACL in his right knee.
Speaking to the media on Thursday for the first time since the injury ended his season on Sept. 20, Barkley would not put a timetable on his return. The 2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year insists his goal is to improve 1% every day.
The running back has now been hit with injuries two straight seasons. He missed three games last year because of a high ankle sprain and saw his season ended in less than two games this year.
A big believer in taking on challenges, Barkley said injuries are something a player can't control; they just happen in a physical game. His plan now is to attack every day and get his body back in shape.
''Hopefully, you know, it works for me. It works out for me,'' Barkley said. ''I don't look at it that way, that I'm not Superman. I never viewed myself as a Superman. I wouldn't say I put that on myself. But I had an injury last year. I was able to overcome that and I have an injury this year. And this is another challenge in a way that, you know, that I would be ready to face.''
The No.2 overall pick in the '18 draft, Barkley might have gotten a new contract after this season if he had another big year. He rushed for 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons.
Barkley said the money is not his focus now. Getting better and trying to have the type of season Adrian Peterson had after tearing his ACL in December 2011 while playing for Minnesota is the goal.
Peterson won the NFL MVP Award the following season.
Barkley said he has been in contact with the current Detroit Lions running back and they even talked the night before his surgery in Los Angeles in late October. Surgeons repaired the ACL and also fixed a torn meniscus. The MCL was damaged on the play but it healed with time.
Barkley said there have been good and bad times since the injury. One of the darkest times came on the play he was hurt. He knew it was serious right away.
Game day on the couch also has had its ups and downs.
''When we win, you still feel that joy, even though I'm not on the field,'' Barkley said. ''But it's also that sit on a couch and watching there. Then you can feel helpless. You can't do anything. You can't help your team at all. So I would say Sundays are the toughest days, but the last three weeks they they've been pretty good.''
The Giants (4-7) have won their last three games and lead the NFC East heading into a game at the Seattle Seahawks (8-3) on Sunday.
Barkley has enjoyed seeing backup halfback Wayne Gallman carry the load lately behind a much-improved offensive line.
The rehabilitation and having football taken away has been a challenge, said Barkley, who rejoined the Giants in New Jersey two weeks ago.
''But, you know, I'm just trying to be supportive as I can,'' he said. ''You love seeing my guys out there ballin' and doing it, especially the way we're playing right now. So that definitely makes life a lot easier.''
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Five Waiver Wire Adds: Week 13
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has struggled all season and there's no reason to believe he won't struggle some more in Week 13 against the Green Bay Packers. Wentz has been sacked on almost 11 percent of his drop backs, leading the league by a significant margin. Some of those sacks have surely been the fault of the Eagles offensive line, but Wentz himself has held the ball way too long and missed seeing wide open receivers countless times. He hasn't hit a 60 percent completion rate since Week 4, and has averaged under seven yards per attempt in nine of his starts this season. A lot of Wentz's plummeting value has come from his rushing, but the Packers have yet to allow a rushing touchdown to an opposing quarterback. The only clear path to fantasy value this week could come from the Eagles failing to stop the Packers on offense, leading to volume-based fantasy points in a second half made of almost all garbage time. Wentz is teetering on QB2/3 and is only a consideration in Superflex and 2QB formats.
Pittsburgh Steelers pass-rusher Bud Dupree (knee) will in fact miss the rest of the season after suffering a torn ACL in Wednesday's win over the Ravens, according to a source. An MRI exam confirmed the injury. The team's franchise player will now set his eyes on the 2021 season, when he'll be a free agent. The 27-year-old had been a key piece to Pittsburgh's nasty defense this season, so Dupree's injury will be big for this team down the stretch and into the playoffs. He already had eight sacks through 11 games and had formed a dynamic duo with fellow linebacker T.J. Watt. If Watt is double-teamed more often with Dupree no longer on the field, it could lower his production for fantasy managers in IDP leagues. Pittsburgh's D, however, should remain an elite unit for Week 13 against the Washington Football Team.
Indianapolis Colts DT Denico Autry was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday, Dec. 3.
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson thinks it's "very important" that the team re-signs wide receiver Will Fuller V, who will be a free agent after this season. Fuller, who was suspended for six games for violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy, is playing this season on his fifth-year option. Houston took trade offers for Fuller before the Nov. 3 deadline, but they ultimately decided to keep him. In 11 games in 2020, the team's top wideout had 53 catches for 879 yards and eight touchdowns. His absence the rest of the season is a huge loss for the Texans and fantasy managers, as Fuller was a top-five fantasy receiver through 12 weeks. Brandin Cooks and Keke Coutee will be the club's top two wideouts in Week 13 with Randall Cobb still nursing an injury. Rookie Isaiah Coulter will also see a boost in playing time in three-receiver sets this weekend against a tough Colts Defense.
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (knee) is back in New Jersey and is rehabbing at the team's facility after spending almost a month in Los Angeles after reconstructive surgery on his ACL and meniscus in his right knee. Barkley said that his MCL healed on its own and they were able to do a full repair on his meniscus. He won't put a timetable on his return, but he believes he'll be as good or better when he's fully healthy. Barkley isn't rushing his rehab and will be smart with his body in the early stages. The 23-year-old went down in Week 2 against the Bears and is expected to make a full recovery and be ready for the start of next season. Previously a top-three fantasy selection, Barkley will still go in the early rounds as an RB1 with plenty of upside, but he'll no longer be a consensus top pick after injuries have slowed him in his first couple of seasons.
Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores said that rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (thumb) will be a game-time decision in Week 13 against the Bengals. "He was limited in practice. We'll take it one day at a time. Both quarterbacks practiced yesterday. We'll see how he progresses throughout the week and make a decision on Sunday," Flores said. Tagovailoa remains the starter when healthy, but he was held out of action in Week 12 with the thumb injured that he suffered in practice. The 22-year-old has looked more like a game manager in his first four starts than a fantasy stud, so he'll be an unattractive low-end QB2 if he plays against Cincinnati at less than 100 percent. Ryan Fitzpatrick would be a QB2 streamer in superflex leagues if he makes a second straight start in a very nice matchup.
Jacksonville Jaguars SS Josh Jones (chest) was designated to return from the Reserve/Injured list on Wednesday, Dec. 2. Jacksonville now has 21 days to activate Jones or shut him down for the rest of the season.
Denver Broncos CB Bryce Callahan (foot) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list on Wednesday, Dec. 2.
Seattle Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny (knee) has been on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list all season, and the team is still waiting to get the official word on if Penny will be able to return or is done for the season.
Fantasy Spin: Fantasy owners need not worry about Penny in 2020, as Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde would likely handle a majority of the workload even if he were able to return. His touches would be limited if he can play, so no fantasy appeal.
Seattle Seahawks RB Chris Carson (foot) was a little sore after the Week 12 game against the Philadelphia Eagles, according to head coach Pete Carroll on Wednesday, Dec. 2. 'First time he's played in a little while. I'm anxious to see how he feels this week,' Carroll said. 'Should be fine for the ball game (vs. the Giants).'
Fantasy Spin: Carson was more impressive in yards per attempt than Carlos Hyde in Week 13, so he should lead the backfield in touches against the Giants. He is back as a solid RB2 or flex fantasy option against the G-Men.
Seattle Seahawks CB Quinton Dunbar (knee) remains on the Reserve/Injured list, but he might return when he is eligible in Week 14. 'He's got to wait one more week before he can come back and I think he's gonna be ready to do that,' head coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday, Dec. 2. 'From the way things are going, he's got a chance.'
Seattle Seahawks running backs Chris Carson (foot) and Carlos Hyde (toe) were both limited in practice on Wednesday. Carson returned in Week 12 after missing four games and was substantially out-touched by Hyde, although Carson did score a touchdown. The fact that Carson played just 37 percent of the offensive snaps is concerning, but hopefully he'll see a bigger workload this weekend against the Giants. Consider him an RB2 in a good matchup with the Giants. Hyde played 62 percent of the snaps on Monday night, rushing 15 times for just 22 yards and catching two of three targets for an extra seven yards. Fantasy managers should expect Carson to receive a bigger workload in his second game back, making Hyde a touchdown-dependent RB3/flex in deeper formats.
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (shoulder) was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday. Murray tweaked his shoulder in the Week 11 loss to the Seahawks and failed to record a touchdown in last week's loss to the Patriots, throwing for just 170 yards. He also ran the ball a season-low five times for 31 yards. After carrying the ball double-digit times in Weeks 6-10, Murray has only 10 rushing attempts in his last two games. Is his injury causing him to run less? It looks like it, and he'll have another tough matchup with the Rams in Week 13. LA's defense has allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to QBs in the last five weeks. While the second-year signal-caller shouldn't be benched by his fantasy managers, he might underwhelm again if you're expecting high-end QB1 production.
New York Jets wide receiver Breshad Perriman (shoulder) was listed as a limited practice participant on Wednesday. Don't look now, but Perriman has been fantasy relevant the last three weeks while either scoring a touchdown or topping 75 yards receiving. He caught four of his eight targets in Week 12 against the Dolphins for 79 yards. It's still hard to trust anyone on the winless Jets and Perriman has had his fair share of injuries in his career, but he might be the most trustworthy Jets receiver at this point. In deeper league, Perriman is worth considering as a WR4/flex, but don't expect him to put you over the top if you need one more win to get into the fantasy postseason.
New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (abdomen) was limited in practice on Wednesday. Newton's injury doesn't appear to be serious enough to keep him from playing in Week 13 against the Chargers. The 31-year-old former MVP was just 9-for-18 passing for 84 yards and two interceptions in the Week 12 win over the Cardinals. He added nine carries for 46 yards. Newton's rushing ability gives him a little more upside, but he's not running like he used to and has limited weapons in the passing attack, making him a midrange QB2 this Sunday with a limited ceiling. The Los Angeles defense has allowed the 11th-most fantasy points per game to signal-caller this year, including four rushing touchdowns to the position.
Los Angeles Chargers running back Kalen Ballage (ankle), linebacker Uchenna Nwosu (chest) and offensive guard Trai Turner (ankle) were all limited in practice on Wednesday. Ballage was inactive in the Week 12 loss to the Bills, but he's on the right track to make his return in Week 13 against the Patriots. The 24-year-old saw double-digit carries from Weeks 9-11 and was also seeing usage in the passing game, putting him in the flex consideration. However, Austin Ekeler returned from Injured Reserve last weekend and should remain as the team's featured back to close out the season. Ballage could still be mixed in here and there alongside Joshua Kelley and Troymaine Pope, but Ekeler's return has all but killed the fleeting fantasy value that he had.
Baltimore Ravens TE Luke Willson was targeted twice in the Week 12 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Wednesday, Dec. 2, but he dropped a touchdown in the end zone and did not have a reception.
Fantasy Spin: Willson was getting a golden opportunity with Mark Andrews on the shelf due to COVID-19, but he did nothing with the chance. He will be back to fighting for crumbs in Week 13 against the Dallas Cowboys and is no longer worth a look in seasonal play or DFS.
Houston Texans running back C.J. Prosise (illness) did not take part in practice on Wednesday due to a non-COVID-19-related illness. Prosise had a season-high five carries for 12 yards and caught a two-yard pass for a touchdown in the Thanksgiving win over the Lions last week as the backup to Duke Johnson. He saw some notable work in the red zone in Week 12 and should continue to see a bigger role until David Johnson returns from Injured Reserve, but Prosise still isn't seeing enough touches to be considered a realistic flex option, even in the deepest of leagues. Buddy Howell and rookie Scottie Phillips would be called on to step up behind Johnson if Prosise is unable to play in Week 13 against the Colts.
The Houston Texans activated the 21-day practice window for running back David Johnson (concussion) to return from Injured Reserve on Wednesday. It means that Johnson could technically return for the Week 13 matchup with the Colts, but that would be wishful thinking by his fantasy managers. The 28-year-old has been out since Week 9, and the Texans are just hoping that he can return sometime soon. We'd be surprised if Johnson made it back this weekend, but he should be picked up off the waiver wire if he's available. Duke Johnson will continue to have RB2 upside until David Johnson is fully healthy and cleared from the league's concussion protocol.