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Since Saquon Barkley became a star at Penn State, everyone knew he'd be a big-time player in the NFL.
Whether or not Barkley should have been the second overall pick of the NFL draft is irrelevant to the impact he has made on the field. He has been a fantastic player for the New York Giants. Then he tore his ACL.
All of the stories from Giants camp have been trying to figure out Barkley's next step in rehab, or how the Giants will use him early in the season. There are a lot of questions as he works back. That makes it very tough to bet the over on his rushing yardage total at BetMGM.
Saquon Barkley still working back from injury
Barkley's rushing yardage total at BetMGM is 1,150.5. If Barkley was healthy, taking the over would be easy.
But Barkley isn't healthy. Barkley could return to team practice drills this week. That's a great step, but it's also far from being entirely ready for a game with less than three weeks before opening day.
Barkley is such a physical freak that it wouldn't be surprising if he returns and looks like his old self right away. Think about Adrian Peterson the year after he tore his ACL. Peterson rushed for 2,000 yards and won NFL MVP after tearing his ACL the previous December. That type of season is within Barkley's range of outcomes.
Barkley shouldn't be limited much once the Giants are confident in his health, but even two or three weeks of him being limited could affect his chances of passing 1,150 rushing yards.
If Barkley is healthy and mostly a full-time back for 17 games, he'll pass the over on those rushing yards. He'll be the focal point of the offense, even with some upgrades at other positions. The problem is knowing when he'll be full speed, and if he can stay healthy all season. Injury optimism has led to plenty of poor prop bets and bad fantasy draft picks.
We'll take the under on Barkley, though it's not a fun position to take. Barkley could have a remarkable season. Nobody is rooting against Barkley, one of the easier players in the NFL to root for. But it's too much of an upstream swim to assume everything goes right with Barkley the year after an ACL tear. Maybe we'll take the over next season.
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