Daniel Jones will be the talk of New York this week after the rookie quarterback led the Giants to a win, but dynamic running back Saquon Barkley could be on the shelf for a while after hurting his ankle early in the massive comeback victory in Tampa Bay.
Barkley, a Pro Bowler as a rookie last season, was helped off the field with what multiple sources are reporting is a high ankle sprain. Barkley was tackled at the end of a 6-yard reception from Jones in front of the New York bench in the first half. He stood up and appeared to be favoring his right ankle before being helped off. He returned to the sideline in the second half, but was in a walking boot and had crutches.
“Would I say I’m really hurt? No,” Barkley said on NFL Network after a missed 34-yard field goal gave the previously winless Giants an improbable 32-31 victory over the Buccaneers. “Could it be way worse? Yes. I’m not out for the season. I’m going to try to do hopefully whatever I can do to get back as quickly as possible. Not just myself but for this team.”
The Giants travel to Foxborough to play the Patriots in prime time on Thursday, Oct. 10, to begin Week 6.
New York also lost linebacker Alec Ogletree to a hamstring injury on a fumble return that didn’t even count. Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston was hit by Giants defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence as he released a pass on third-and-7 from the New York 9. The ball bounced into the end zone, where Ogletree picked it up and ran 79 yards to the Tampa Bay 28 before being brought down by receiver Chris Godwin.
Ogletree limped off the field while the play was being reviewed — and it eventually was overturned to an incomplete pass.
Painful deja vu for Hurns in Dallas
Miami receiver Allen Hurns had to be taken off the field after a jarring play at the home of the Cowboys, just as he did in the playoffs last season when he played for the Cowboys.
Hurns stayed down for a couple of minutes after a huge hit from Dallas safety Jeff Heath that resulted in an incompletion. While trainers attended to Hurns, Heath knelt on one knee with his helmet off just a few feet from his former teammate.
When Hurns sat up, several other Dallas defenders also greeted him. Hurns seemed a little woozy when he stood up, but was able to walk off the field mostly on his own.
During Dallas’ wild-card win over Seattle last January, Hurns sustained a gruesome-looking broken ankle when he was tackled awkwardly. Hurns went through offseason workouts with the Cowboys, but they released him just before training camp.
Staying positive in Cincinnati
Bengals first-year coach Zac Taylor isn’t going to let an 0-3 start — and two close calls — tear his team apart.
Though disappointed following a 21-17 loss at the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, the 36-year-old Taylor remains confident there are signs of growth.
‘‘We believe in each other and the message was the wolves are coming,’’ Taylor said, referring to an animated postgame speech he delivered that could be heard through the locker room door.
By wolves, Taylor meant critics of a team that counts two losses by four or fewer points, including a season-opening 21-20 loss at Seattle.
‘‘This group is too strong to allow that to happen,’’ he added. ‘‘It’s just so disappointing because we were right there at the end.’’
Cincinnati overcame a dreadful start and a 14-point deficit by scoring 17 points on three consecutive drives to take the lead on Randy Bullock’s 43-yard field goal with 4:54 remaining. The trouble was the Bengals couldn’t hold it, allowing Buffalo’s Frank Gore to score on a 1-yard plunge with 1:50 left before falling short on their final drive.
‘‘It’s one of those things. It’s frustrating. At times the offense isn’t playing well, the defense is playing well,’’ quarterback Andy Dalton said. ‘‘For us, it’s like we’ve got to put it all together.’’
In his face, but went unseen
Philadelphia running back Miles Sanders’s facemask was yanked so viciously on a kickoff return, his neck twisted and his helmet flew off his head. And the officials missed the call.
Detroit safety Miles Killebrew grabbed at Sanders’ facemask with his right hand and the Eagles helmet about turned. There was no penalty call on the play.
Eagles fans howled as the replay was shown on the big screens at Lincoln Financial Field. Sanders appeared fine after the play.
Atlanta Falcons safety Keanu Neal was carted off the field late in the first half of his team’s loss to Indianapolis with an Achilles’ tendon injury. He missed last season after tearing an ACL in the season opener.