The hits just keep on coming for running backs around the NFL. After Saquon Barkley’s injury on Sunday, you can see why so many at the position want long-term contracts and financial security. One play can change everything. Although it seems Barkley avoided the ultimate disaster, will the Giants be able to survive if he’s out?
David Montgomery also wasn’t spared from injury in the Lions’ overtime loss to the Seahawks. The pictures weren’t encouraging, as the running back was carted off the field. How much time will he miss, and is it finally Jahmyr Gibbs time in the Motor City?
Below, we’ll give you the latest news on these important RBs and break down how their injuries could potentially affect the Week 3 and season-long fantasy landscape.
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For the latest injury updates on QBs Joe Burrow and Anthony Richardson, go here; for more on injured WRs Davante Adams, Jaylen Waddle, Garrett Wilson, and Odell Beckham Jr., click here; for news on more ailing RBs Austin Ekeler, Aaron Jones and Kenneth Gainwell, go here; for the latest on hurting WRs Christian Watson, Brandin Cooks, and Jakobi Meyers, click here.
Saquon Barkley injury update, Week 3 fantasy outlook
UPDATE 9/18: In what could’ve been a devastating injury for the Giants, Barkley avoided disaster after an MRI showed that he only suffered an ordinary ankle sprain. That will sideline him about three weeks, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, but the crisis has been mostly averted for Big Blue.
Barkley was helped off the field late in the fourth quarter after his leg was trapped underneath the Cardinals’ Krys Barnes. The ankle injury, as it’s being called by the team, happened only a few plays before Graham Gano’s game-winning field goal, putting a damper on the Giants’ emotional comeback win. However, there is reason for optimism, as the team believes Barkley only suffered an ankle sprain, according to Jordan Schultz. He will go for an MRI to determine the full extent of the injury, but a sprain would be good news after the story that was painted by the pictures on the screen.
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The issue for Barkley owners is that the Giants have a quick turnaround this week, heading to San Francisco for a Thursday night showdown with the 49ers. With that in mind, it’s unlikely we’ll see Barkley suiting up, even if it is just out of an abundance of caution. Matt Breida would assume RB1 duties in that case. Since there was only a minute left in the game, we don’t have a clear picture of what to expect for Breida behind this Giants’ offensive line. The most recent, and only, example of Breida handling RB1 duties for New York came on Jan. 8 against the Eagles when he rushed for 28 yards on four carries in the regular season finale.
Barkley owners will want to claim Breida off the waiver wire, as he’s only rostered in two percent of Yahoo leagues. He wouldn’t be a slam dunk must-start if other options are available on your bench, especially in an offense that’s struggled to move the ball for six of the season’s eight quarters. With a dominant 49ers’ defense looming, it will be difficult for just about everyone on Big Blue’s offense.
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David Montgomery injury update, Week 3 fantasy outlook
Montgomery has been a workhorse for the Lions in the early going this season, assuming the role voided by Jamaal Williams and then some. Rookie Jahmyr Gibbs saw an uptick in usage on Sunday, amplified even more by Montgomery’s injury that resulted in him being carted off the field early in the fourth quarter. Montgomery was in the midst of another respectable showing with 16 carries for 67 rushing yards and a touchdown. Head coach Dan Campbell said the injury seems to be a thigh bruise, but the team would know more Monday. Mongtomery told reporters that the injury, now labeled to be a quad, would require a few weeks to heal.
His absence would pave the way for Gibbs to take over the Detroit backfield going forward, at least on paper. However, the reality is much more difficult to sort through. The Lions made Gibbs the No. 12 overall pick in April’s draft, but appear to prefer a bruising, tough back to lead the charge. That was evidenced by the team’s infatuation with Williams in 2022, who rewarded fantasy owners with an excellent season. Gibbs is playing the D’Andre Swift role to this point, which has always been a source of frustration. It’s unclear whether he’d assume the RB1 role or remain in somewhat of a timeshare that sees him participate more in the passing game, earning carries only in relief of Williams.
It wouldn’t be shocking to see Craig Reynolds take over as the top back while they continue to let Gibbs adjust to the NFL. That would mean Reynolds takes on goal-line work and is more of the every-down back. With that in mind, he is worth a pickup, especially behind one of the league’s best offensive lines.