NFC Notes: Falcons, Saquon Barkley, Giants



Falcons HC Arthur Blank told reporters after Sunday’s game that he supports HC Dan Quinn and isn’t looking to make a change. 

No,” Blank told Vaughn McClure of ESPN when asked whether a coaching change is needed. “We’ve got a lot of football left. This staff has performed before. And my hope is they can fix what needs to be fixed and start winning some games.”

Blank was asked what bothers him most about his team’s 1-4 start to the season.

“It’s not one thing. Our players are capable of playing better than they are. They have in the past. And I’m sure they will in the future,” Blank said. 

Obviously, the coaching is not where it needs to be. They’re challenging themselves; questioning themselves; examining everything they know how to examine. That’s all they can do is work really hard at it, take this as seriously as they can, and feel the pain.”

Saquon Barkley

After Giants RB Saquon Barkley was diagnosed with a high ankle sprain two weeks ago, the initial timeline for his return that was reported fell somewhere in the six to eight-week range. That projection rankled Barkley, who could return as soon as this Thursday against the Patriots. 

“How can anyone tell me how long I’m supposed to be out?” Barkley said via NFL Network’s Kim Jones. “Maybe because of my competitive nature. How are you going to tell me (that)? No one was in the doctor’s office (with me), no one has seen my ankle, everyone’s different. I think an important thing that Dr. Anderson and Dr. O’Malley said was, ‘You treat the patient, not the injury.’ When I heard that, I just took it to heart. … Everyone’s putting these messages out there and no one heard from my mouth that I’m out six-to-eight weeks. That made no sense at all.”

Barkley is on pace to shatter the expected recovery time period and could miss as few as two games. If the circumstances were slightly different, Barkley could have even returned for Sunday’s game against the Vikings. 

“He 100 percent could play (Sunday), but I agree with the plan by the team to take it slow given he is so young. No need to rush him at this point in the season,” said Ryan Flaherty, Nike’s Senior Director of Performance, who works with Barkley. “If this was the playoffs, then he would be playing Sunday. No doubt.”

“He’s healing like nothing I’ve seen in 15 years,” Flaherty added. “It’s not normal at all. Even for an NFL athlete. We trained really hard this offseason and especially around single-leg stability and balance. My goal with all of my athletes is to limit the damage caused by injury by training really hard, knowing that injury is 100 percent going to happen. It’s the nature of the NFL. Our goal isn’t to prevent injury, which is impossible… it’s to limit the severity of the injury.”


  • Golden Tate made his Giants’ debut on Sunday, but says he isn’t happy with his lack of production after posting three catches for 13 yards: “You know, I hope not. I hope not.” (Matt Lombardo)
  • Tate is hoping to be more involved next week: “I want to be out there as much as possible. We’ll see. It’s the first week back for me. I hope my role increases. But, we’ll see.
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