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Mailbag: Saquon Barkley's return, RB rotation?


Ryan in Connecticut: Assuming Barkley returns at 100%, and based on Wayne Gallman's increased production in his absence, do you think we will see the revamped backfield share more of the load this year?

John Schmeelk: Barkley will rest only as much as he has to in order to maintain his health and peak efficiency. You do not voluntarily take him off the field to jump-start the offense or to mix things up, except perhaps in short-yardage situations for a bruising back or for pass protection; otherwise, a reserve could get maybe one series a half.

Kurtis in Florida: With Barkley's expected return to original form, will he be able to produce more touchdowns? And will the improved offensive line block well enough to increase production out of the run and play-action?

John Schmeelk: There have been many studies showing success in the run game has little or no impact on the effectiveness of play-action. The Giants' offensive line was much improved as run blockers last season once they leaned on a power style rather than an outside-zone attack. But this happened after Barkley was hurt. Barkley should perform well in a more downhill scheme behind a line with powerful players who can move defenders off the line of scrimmage.

Don in Florida: Which running backs do you think the Giants will carry on their final roster to open the season?

John Schmeelk: At this moment, Saquon Barkley likely would be joined by Devontae Booker and Corey Clement - both players have history as starters in the league and proven they can run and catch the football. Ryquell Armstead will compete with Clement and Booker and has shown ability when he's healthy.

There could be a fourth slot, whether it is rookie special teams ace Gary Brightwell or another fullback. Hybrid Eli Penny is still on the roster as is free agent fullback Cullen Gillaspia.

The two wildcards are Sandro Platzgummer, who is the team's international player from Austria, and Taquan Mizzell, who is more of a scatback at 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds.

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