Saquon Barkley Took Reps In Practice, Still Remains Questionable For Indiana
Watching Penn State’s offense flounder against Army was painful to watch, mainly because the team’s young element of excitement was notably absent. After suffering an ankle injury against Rutgers, freshman phenom running back Saquon Barkley was held out of last Saturday’s listless victory against the Black Knights. But fear not, Penn State fans; there’s a chance Barkley makes his return to the field in time for Penn State beginning its Big Ten gauntlet.
Though his ankle was still heavily wrapped, Barkley took reps against the scout team on Wednesday, the first time he’s done so since suffering the injury. Ankle injuries are nothing to mess with, and have the tendency to linger as the season carries on for unfortunate players. Though his practice load was moderate, it’s encouraging to see Barkley slowly begin working his way back to the field during the team’s most critical period.
Last weekend, the team’s potent rushing attack seemed stagnant, lacking any visible spark. Obviously, conditions were pretty bad, and circumstances were rather dire given the litany of injuries suffered by a handful of Penn State’s top contributors, but if Barkley was able to run rampant over the University of Buffalo in similar conditions, there’s no doubt he could’ve produced similar numbers against the Black Knights.
“Barkley received reps at practice today, and he looked awesome,” Franklin said of his star running back. “He’s still working through [the injury], and no determination has been made yet regarding his status for Saturday, but he did take some good reps. We’ll see.”
Knowing Franklin and his propensity to withhold injury information, it was refreshing to hear an update on the injured ballcarrier. With the statuses of Hoosier stars Nate Sudfeld and Jordan Howard — the Big Ten’s second leading rusher behind Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliot — the Lions will need as much help as possible to overcome a potentially dynamic Hoosier offensive attack.
Barkley’s presence has been missed, but it looks like there’s a good chance No. 26 makes his triumphant return to the field as Penn State looks to stifle an upstart 4-1 Hoosiers squad that nearly knocked off top-ranked Ohio State.