Saquon Barkley made a spectacular play during Monday’s practice and then came up a little gimpy after hauling in a long pass thrown by Kyle Lauletta, rookie to rookie. Barkley was attended to on the sideline and had his left leg and thigh wrapped with ice. He had no problem walking off the field and out of the field house with his teammates after the completion of the practice.
“Think he’s all right,” coach Pat Shurmur said. “We’ll find out.”
Lauletta conferred with Barkley in the locker room, analyzing the eye-catching hookup, and said Barkley looked and sounded as if nothing was bothering him.
“He’s fine,” Lauletta said. “He didn’t say anything about that. He’ll be good to go.”
This was the second consecutive day Shurmur gave Lauletta and Davis Webb work with the starting offense and both took advantage. Webb fired two touchdown passes to Odell Beckham Jr. and Lauletta triggered the play of the day. Barkley has uncommon pass-receiving skills and the wheel route he ran down the left sideline was a thing of beauty. Linebacker Alec Ogletree gave chase and ran with Barkley … for a while. Lauletta noticed the mismatch, and his pass at first appeared too strong, looking as if it would sail over Barkley’s reach.
Not a chance. Barkley kicked it into a higher gear and with both arms outstretched, without breaking stride, snared the ball in his fingertips for the reception. Not many running backs can make such a play.
“You’re looking for man coverages usually when you’re throwing to the back,’’ Lauletta said. “Saquon’s really fast, and he got matched up on a linebacker so any time you get that matchup you take advantage of it. It was tight coverage, he was running with him good. It was a good throw and just on his fingertips. He makes that catch, I don’t know if many other guys in the league do, but Saquon will make that play.
“It was unbelievable. He’s gonna make plays like that and that’s where can utilize him in the pass game. He’s a matchup nightmare against some of those linebackers, if we can get him in man coverage. I knew just get it out in front, don’t leave it short, if anything, miss far. He caught up to it. He caught up to it pretty good.”