New York Giants lose Barkley, fall to 0-2 under Joe Judge
CHICAGO (AP) — Daniel Jones committed two more turnovers. The offensive line had another uneven day, and the defense took a while to find its stride.
And those were relatively minor problems compared to the biggest concern for the New York Giants.
Saquon Barkley left New York’s 17-13 loss at Chicago on Sunday with a right knee injury, potentially sidelining the star running back for an extended period.
“Going to see some doctors tomorrow. We will wait and see what that is,” first-year coach Joe Judge said. “Obviously, we are all praying for the best.”
Barkley went down hard on the Chicago sideline after trying to fend off Bears safety Eddie Jackson on a 6-yard carry early in the second quarter. The 2018 NFL offensive rookie of the year dragged his right leg behind him as he was helped back across the field to the Giants sideline.
After a short conversation with trainers, Barkley got on a cart and was driven into the tunnel. The team said he was going for X-rays and would undergo further evaluation on Monday.
“I don’t think anyone knows exactly what the injury is or what that sets us up for,” Jones said. “So, you know, dealing in hypotheticals right now isn’t the most productive thing. But whatever it is, we’ll respond as a team and do the best we can going forward.”
The 23-year-old Barkley also seemed to be shaken up after he was tackled at the end of an 18-yard run late in the opening quarter, but he quickly re-entered the game.
He struggled in Week 1 against Pittsburgh, finishing with just 6 yards on 15 carries. The former Penn State star also was criticized by former Giants running back Tiki Barber for his pass-blocking skills.
Dion Lewis, who had a team-high 10 carries for 20 yards and a touchdown, said he spoke with Barkley after the loss to the Bears.
“I just told him keep his head up, stay positive, believe in God,” Lewis said. “Nobody knows what’s really going on right now, so, you know, just try to keep his head up because he’s a great kid and we’ve grown extremely close since I’ve been here.”
Sterling Shepard, who had six catches for 47 yards during New York’s season-opening loss to Pittsburgh, also departed with a toe injury. Judge said it looked as if a defensive back landed on Shepard’s foot at the end of the first half.
“Obviously, it was something he really couldn’t run full speed on,” he said. “He will see the doctor and see where he is at.”
Playing without Barkley and Shepard, New York (0-2) almost rallied for the win. Lewis scored on a 1-yard run and Graham Gano kicked a 37-yard field goal to make it 17-13 with 7:43 left.
Cairo Santos missed a 50-yard field goal attempt for Chicago with 2:02 remaining, handing the ball back to New York in good field position. Jones directed the Giants all the way down to the Bears 10, but he threw an incomplete pass looking for Golden Tate on the final play — and Tate was flagged for offensive pass interference anyway.
“I initially thought that was going to be (a) defensive (penalty). We were going to get another shot there at the goal line,” Jones said. “So, like I said, go back and take a look at it and we’ll see. But, you know, it’s up to us to execute it and find a way to get it in there.”
Jones was 25 for 40 for 241 yards. He threw an interception and lost a fumble in the first half, helping the Bears to a 17-0 lead at the break.
Jones also was sacked four times. He tossed two interceptions and was sacked three times during last week’s loss to the Steelers.
“It’s a young team that’s learning a lot, but they’re learning a lot in these first two weeks about what we have to do as a team to capitalize on our opportunities,” Judge said. “And we have to make sure we stop spotting opponents opportunities to take advantage of our mistakes.”
Jay Cohen can be reached at https://twitter.com/jcohenap
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