New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley has a sprained right ankle and his status for Thursday night’s game against the San Francisco 49ers is uncertain, a person familiar with the injury told the Associated Press on Monday.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because coach Brian Daboll had said earlier in the day he did not know the extent of the injury. Daboll said the team’s medical staff would update him later Monday. The second-year coach has been the only one to speak about injured players during his tenure. He will talk again on Tuesday in Tempe, Ariz., where the Giants are preparing for Thursday’s game.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported an MRI showed an “ordinary” ankle sprain and that Barkley is expected to be out three weeks. Daboll had said Barkley was being sent for further tests, but his availability would probably be a game-time decision.
Barkley, who is playing on a one-year contract worth up to $11 million, was injured with 1:12 to play against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. One play before he was hurt, Barkley had a 16-yard run to get the Giants into position for the go-ahead field goal. The 26-year-old was stopped for a loss on first down and then had to be helped to the bench.
Three plays later, Graham Gano converted a 34-yard kick that gave the Giants a 31-28 victory.
Barkley played 66 of the Giants’ 68 offensive snaps. The No. 2 pick in the 2018 draft and the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year ran for 67 yards and a touchdown and caught six passes for 29 yards and another TD. If he cannot play, either Matt Breida, Gary Brightwell, or rookie Eric Gray will start.
Barkley was bothered by ankle injuries in his second season and missed three games. He suffered a torn ACL early in the 2020 season.
Mahomes cashes in again
Patrick Mahomes has always been content in his contract with the Kansas City Chiefs, and confident that the team that drafted him in the first round in 2017 and helped him become one of the NFL’s biggest stars would always take care of him.
They did that again Monday.
The Chiefs agreed with the reigning league MVP on a restructuring of his 10-year, $450 million contract that gives Mahomes a big boost in pay over the next four seasons, two people familiar with the deal told the AP.
The revised agreement pushes some of the money Mahomes was scheduled to make going forward to the next four years, and the $210.6 million over that span represents the most in NFL history. Mahomes is due to make $56.85 million this season, $44.5 million next season, $50 million in 2025 and $56.76 million for the 2026 season.
At that point, the Chiefs and Mahomes — who celebrated his 28th birthday Sunday with a 17-9 win in Jacksonville — are expected to revisit his contract, which ties him to the franchise through 2031.
Steelers lose duo
The Pittsburgh Steelers will have to bounce back from a rough Week 1 loss without wide receiver Diontae Johnson.
The Steelers placed Johnson and running back Anthony McFarland on injured reserve, hours before Pittsburgh (0-1) hosted the Cleveland Browns (1-0) on Monday.
Johnson tweaked his right hamstring while being tackled at the end of a 26-yard gain in the third quarter of a 30-7 loss to San Francisco in the season opener.
Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin had already ruled Johnson out against Cleveland. The move to injured reserve means he’ll miss at least four games.
Johnson is Pittsburgh’s leading receiver over the past four seasons, averaging 85 receptions a season since being taken in the third round of the 2019 draft. He was a Pro Bowler in 2021.
McFarland, who serves as the Steelers’ primary kickoff returner, is dealing with a knee injury.
Pittsburgh promoted running back Qadree Ollison to the 53-man roster. The move is a homecoming for Ollison, who starred at Pitt from 2015-18 before bouncing around the NFL. Ollison’s previous stops include Atlanta, Dallas and Jacksonville.
Two-time All-Pro safety Budda Baker has been placed on injured reserve following a hamstring injury suffered last week during practice, adding more adversity for the winless Cardinals.
Baker was inactive for Arizona on Sunday during a 31-28 loss to the New York Giants. The Cardinals blew a 21-point, third-quarter lead in the game, which was the biggest collapse for the franchise since 2011.
The team captain will miss at least the next four games. He has been a productive and durable player for the Cardinals over the past seven seasons and is known for his physicality despite a relatively small stature at 5-foot-10 and 195 pounds. He had 111 tackles and two interceptions last season.
After putting Baker on injured reserve, the Cardinals signed safety Qwuantrezz Knight from the 49ers practice squad and put him on the active roster.
More ‘MNF’ on ABC
ABC will be airing more “Monday Night Football” games than originally planned. An additional 10 games originally set to appear only on ESPN will be simulcast on ABC. The additional games will be on network television because of the ongoing strikes by the writers’ and the screen actors’ guilds. When the NFL schedule was announced in May, ABC had four exclusive regular-season games — including Monday night’s matchup between the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers — and five being part of an ESPN simulcast ... The long-awaited retrial of Cardell Hayes, whose conviction in the death of former NFL star Will Smith, was thrown out because the jury verdict wasn’t unanimous was delayed without explanation Monday.