Giants’ Saquon Barkley set for return against Buccaneers

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    Saquon Barkley is back. 

    The star running back for the Giants is set to return on Monday night against the Buccaneers after missing the last four games with an ankle injury, per ESPN.

    New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) runs with the ball in the first inning against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.

    New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) runs with the ball in the first inning against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.
    (Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)

    Barkley, 24, suffered the injury in Week 5 against the Cowboys. Barkley has been listed as questionable all week and, barring a setback in warmups, will be the lead man in the Giants’ backfield. Coming off a bye week, New York (3-6) is a 10.5-point underdog against Tampa Bay (6-3) on the road at 8:15 p.m. on ESPN, per FanDuel Sportsbook.

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    New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) celebrates his touchdown in overtime to defeat the New Orleans Saints in an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. The Giants won 27-21

    New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) celebrates his touchdown in overtime to defeat the New Orleans Saints in an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. The Giants won 27-21
    (AP Photo/Brett Duke)

    The oft-injured Barkley has run for 195 yards on 54 carries and two touchdowns in five games this season. He’s also recorded 14 receptions for 130 yards and a score. Since rushing for 1,307 yards in his rookie season in 2018, Barkley has missed 21 games over the past three seasons. He notably tore his ACL during Week 2 of the 2020 season, causing him to miss the rest of the season.

    Barkley won’t be the only key piece of the Giants’ offense returning on Monday night. Receivers Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney have been removed from the injury report and will play. Receiver Sterling Shepard, however, will be inactive for a second consecutive game due to a quad injury.

    Saquon Barkley #26 of the New York Giants warms up before a game against the New Orleans Saints at the Caesars Superdome on October 03, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

    Saquon Barkley #26 of the New York Giants warms up before a game against the New Orleans Saints at the Caesars Superdome on October 03, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
    (Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

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    The last time these two teams squared off on Monday Night Football last season, New York put a scare into quarterback Tom Brady’s Buccaneers. The Buccaneers defeated the Giants 25-23, but New York led 14-6 entering the second half. A pass break-up by Buccaneers safety Antoine Winfield Jr. on a two-point conversion attempt in the final seconds prevented the game from going to overtime.

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