One game, two award nominations. It's just another day in the life of Giants running back Saquon Barkley.
Following a 106-yard performance, including a 68-yard touchdown run, in his NFL debut against the Jaguars, the second overall draft choice has been nominated for two weekly awards – FedEx Ground Player of the Week and Pepsi Rookie of the Week. As always, fans can vote for the winner.
When the winners are announced, FedEx will donate $2,000 to the USO in each of their names through FedEx Cares. The weekly $4,000 donation will support USO Pathfinder and other programs that help service members transition back to civilian life.
Barkley is one of three nominees for the FedEx award along with Washington's Adrian Peterson (96 yards, TD) and Pittsburgh's James Conner (135 yards, 2 TD).
In the rookie category, Barkley is joined by two other top-five picks. Here are those nominees:
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (No. 2 draft pick): The running back had 128 yards from scrimmage against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Barkley had 18 carries for 106 yards (5.9 avg.) and a touchdown and added two receptions for 22 yards.
Sam Darnold, New York Jets (No. 3 draft pick): The quarterback completed 16 of 21 passes for 198 yards and two touchdowns in the Jets' 48-17 victory over the Detroit Lions.
Denzel Ward, Cleveland Browns (No. 4 draft pick): The cornerback recorded six tackles, three passes defensed and two interceptions against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ward is the fourth youngest player (21 years, 134 days old) in NFL history to record two or more interceptions in a game.
Mike Hughes, Minnesota Vikings: The cornerback recorded three tackles, three passes defensed and returned an interception 28 yards for a touchdown in the Vikings' 24-16 win over the San Francisco 49ers.
Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos: The running back had 102 scrimmage yards and a receiving touchdown in the Broncos' 27-24 win over the Seattle Seahawks. Lindsay had 15 carries for 71 yards and added two receptions for 31 yards and a touchdown.
"My realistic expectation [coming into the game] was that I expected to win," Barkley said in the postgame locker room. "Every game you come into, you expect to win by any means. It didn't matter if I had 100 in the air or 100 on the ground, or if I had 20 rushing yards; I'm not really a stats guy, I don't really care about stats. I want to get the win and that was my expectation, but sometimes you fall short on your expectations and it means you have to continue to work and we have to go back to the drawing board and go back to practice and get treatment, recover and get our bodies right and continue to get better."