The injury was initially given an expected timetable for return of 4-8 weeks, typical for an ankle sprain of the dreaded "high" variety. Barkley, however, is reportedly claiming that he plans to beat that estimate, according to the NFL Network's Kimberly Jones.
Barkley was off to a strong start after two weeks, totaling 227 rushing yards and a touchdown, while adding seven catches for 47 yards through the air. He struggled early against the Bucs in Week 3 (eight carries for 10 yards) before getting hurt, as Tampa has been a formidable opponent against running backs so far.
In Barkley's absence, Wayne Gallman should serve as the bell-cow running back, and he has a great home matchup against the Washington Redskins in Week 4. Gallman has a career 4.0 yards per carry, but excels as a receiving option. The fact that the Giants have yet to sign or trade for another back (they promoted Jon Hilliman from the practice squad) may indicate that Barkley has a good chance of returning on the earlier end of his 4-to-8 week projection.
With the somewhat encouraging news, it may be worth making a trade offer to a Barkley owner in your league, especially if they are off to a tough start and desperate for short-term wins. Barkley is a physical freak of nature, and if there is anyone who can come back early from a high ankle sprain, he is arguably that guy.
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