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Division Links: Injury concerns and questions about Giants’ Saquon Barkley

New York Giants Training Camp Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images
Blogging the Boys

Cowboys hot topic: Injuries may already threaten the season

Depth is being tested right out of the gate on the Cowboys roster.

Injuries are sadly a part of the NFL. It is a violent sport built around violent collisions. While the league has taken many steps over the years to reduce the danger for its players, it is impossible to eliminate it completely. For the Dallas Cowboys, that has come crashing home after just one game.

Depth is often a major factor in teams’ chances at making the playoffs, and now Dallas will find out, only one game into the season, just how much they have after three significant injuries added to some already worrisome developments from training camp. Here are the significant ones, and their possible impact.

Bleeding Green Nation

Eagles place two players on injured reserve, sign practice squad guard

The Philadelphia Eagles made several roster moves on Tuesday afternoon. An overview:

  • Vinny Curry and Craig James moved to injured reserve
  • Sua Opeta signed from the practice squad to the roster
  • Jordan Franks signed to the practice squad

Let’s sort through this on a player-by-player basis.


Curry suffered a hamstring injury in Week 1 and looked to be in serious pain. He’s reportedly expected to miss four weeks.

With Derek Barnett dealing with an ankle injury and Brandon Graham going through the league’s concussion protocol, the Eagles are down to three healthy defensive ends: Josh Sweat, Genard Avery and Casey Toohill. The Eagles could look to call up practice squad pass rusher Joe Ostman for Sunday.

Big Blue View

Tiki Barber: Saquon Barkley isn’t an every-down back

Is the former Giant taking a shot at Barkley, or does he have a good point?

Well, Tiki might just be at it again after he said that Saquon Barkley “might not be an every-down back” following the Giants’ 26-16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football.

“He can not pass protect, and it is starting to become glaring,” Barber said on the Tiki and Tierney Show. “It was probably the only issue he had coming in to the NFL, because he wasn’t asked to do it at Penn State. And now you see him diving on the ground, not sticking his head into people’s chest. It’s going to be a liability, because people see it not, it’s on tape, and it’s going to come out.

“If you watch him for the last couple years, he doesn’t want to block. I learned this early on in my career, because I was a third down back before I was a ‘star’ running back, if you can’t block, you can’t be on the field on third down. You just can’t, because you know those are high blitz and dog downs. You know someone is going to be coming from the safety [position], so you have to recognize what a defense is trying to do, how they’re going to dog or blitz you. Recognition is one, and then two, you gotta go hit a dude! Saquon Barkley is a big man, and he doesn’t want to hit anybody. That is frustrating to watch, he’s a great back, but he’s frustrating to watch trying to pass protect.”

Bleeding Green Nation

The NFC East still sucks

Given that 2020 is a real stupid year, it’s only fitting that the Football Team is starting out in first place. They obviously earned that spot after rallying to beat the Eagles, 27 to 17.

Washington’s defensive line is for real, as it should be after pouring all those first-round picks into it. They’re going to challenge opposing offensive lines on a weekly basis.

But Washington still isn’t actually going anywhere if Dwayne Haskins continues to play like he has thus far. He couldn’t lead the Football Team to points when they had to start out in their own territory. He has a 76.9 passer rating through eight career games. Just not impressed. And it’s not like he’ll be getting a ton of help from skill players outside of Terry McLaurin and an offensive line that’s weak on the left side.

Washington will probably win more than three games this year. Still only see them maxing out around seven total.

On the one hand, it’s nice to see the division isn’t looking loaded. The Eagles can manage to stay alive even if they have some struggles.

On the other hand, it would be frustrating to see the Eagles only manage to make the playoffs in weak fashion before quickly getting eliminated. What if they’re stuck being a 9-7 team for third year in a row? Would such a finish inspire meaningful change in the offseason?